1. Joined
    19 Jul '08
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    77354
    21 Jul '09 16:28
    Anyone watching the Tour de France????
  2. Joined
    08 Oct '08
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    5542
    21 Jul '09 20:19
    This year's schedule has saved almost all the good stuff for the final few days - so far, it's been rather boring (beyond the green jersey competition).

    Right now it looks like Contador will win -- looks like someone is actually better than Lance in the mountains. But is this because of Lance's age and time off, or would Contador have been able to beat Lance at least a couple times in his prime? We'll never really know.

    It's also a shame that Armstrong and Contador are on the same team -- I don't want to see the two of them "cooperating" - I want to see them going at it every day to see who's really the best. Instead we get all this "the important thing is that Astana wins the team title" -- Besides the members of Team Astana, does ANYONE care who wins the team title?

    No more of these "all-star teams" -- next year, I want Contador, Armstrong, Leipheimer, and Kloden to each be on a different team. Teams should have one clear top guy so that no one with a legitimate chance of winning should have to worry about being someone else's domestique.
  3. Joined
    10 Jan '08
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    10264
    22 Jul '09 04:27
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    This year's schedule has saved almost all the good stuff for the final few days - so far, it's been rather boring (beyond the green jersey competition).

    Right now it looks like Contador will win -- looks like someone is actually better than Lance in the mountains. But is this because of Lance's age and time off, or would Contador have been able to beat ...[text shortened]... mate chance of winning should have to worry about being someone else's domestique.
    the tour started and has finished on sunday it seems....yesterday was entertaining though, as will today's stage i think.

    looks like someone is actually better than Lance in the mountains. But is this because of Lance's age and time off, or would Contador have been able to beat Lance at least a couple times in his prime?

    it's a shame we didn't see these two going at it both in their prime. the reason armstrong won all his tours is because of the team he had, the old us postal team was class and would always give him an advantage in the team time trail. this year he didn't have that advantage over his main rival but even if he had he wouldn't have won the tour. contador beat him in the first stages time trail and armstrong isn't even the second best rider in the mountains this year...which is understandable, his age, plus 4 years out of cycling combined with the fact that he broke his collar bone earlier this year didn't help. to be sitting second behind contador is still a great achievement though and he should be in the top 3 come paris.

    personally i think contador is the best rider in the mountain i've ever seen, better than armstrong. the acceleration that man has is phenomenal...and the pace that he maintains leaving everyone for dead, pure class. armstrong never did that. at his best armstrong is a better time trialist though and that might have evened it up so i guess we'll never know who would've won. contador has won the last 3 grand tours he has entered. in the end though it's a team game, and the team time trail is often critical, i would say whomever could put the best team together when they were in their prime would have won.

    "the important thing is that Astana wins the team title"

    i saw that whole interview, he meant the important thing is that a rider from astana wins the tour, contador has proven that he is the best rider and armstrong was saying that he was going to do the team thing and help conador win the title. even if in his own mind he was secretly hoping to still win the tour.

    it's the 'all star teams' that win the tour, proven over time. both kloden and leipheimer have had their chance and they both know they can't beat contador the next best thing is to be on the same team and split the winners prize money.
  4. Joined
    08 Oct '08
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    22 Jul '09 13:592 edits
    Originally posted by trev33


    it's the 'all star teams' that win the tour, proven over time. both kloden and leipheimer have had their chance and they both know they can't beat contador the next best thing is to be on the same team and split the winners prize money.
    and the Giants knew they couldn't beat the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl 42
    and the Red Sox knew they couldn't beat the Yankees after losing the first three games.
    and Buster Douglas knew he couldn't beat Mike Tyson
    and Tom Watson knew a 59-yr old had no chance to contend for a major golf title.

    One of the great things about sports is that upsets happen -- really absurd upsets happen. Just because "everyone knows" Contador is the best rider doesn't mean that all the other contenders shouldn't all be doing anything less than their very best to beat him.

    You can have a very strong team without having arguably the top four riders all on the same team.
  5. Standard memberuzless
    The So Fist
    Voice of Reason
    Joined
    28 Mar '06
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    22 Jul '09 14:50
    drugs killed this race long ago.

    Only the diehards watch it now. If armstrong hadn't returned, no one would care about it.

    Time to retire this race to the relic heap.
  6. Joined
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    22 Jul '09 19:501 edit
    Originally posted by uzless
    drugs killed this race long ago.

    Only the diehards watch it now. If armstrong hadn't returned, no one would care about it.

    Time to retire this race to the relic heap.
    I don't believe the cheating has been any worse in cycling than in any other sport. But cycling has been cracking down heavily and has successfully nabbed a lot of cheaters, so there's been a lot of bad press. It's ironic that cycling's image would be a lot better right now if the authorities had chosen to ignore the problem and just let everyone use their drug of choice. I'm glad they didn't do this.

    I'm sure that a lot of people in cycling are much less likely to cheat now than in the past. No one wants to win the Tour and then go through the disgrace Floyd Landis went through. And there is a strict testing regimen now in place that requires top cyclists to be available for surprise testing at any time during the year. Right now, cycling is probably cleaner than any other sport.
  7. Joined
    08 Oct '08
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    22 Jul '09 20:082 edits
    Today was a great example of why the "team thing" bothers me.

    At one point there were only a small number of riders left in the front including Contador and Armstrong. Contador (and the Schleck brothers) then pulled away from the rest, and I wanted Armstrong to go with them. I wanted to see Armstrong throw everything into beating Contador on the mountains -- if not to make up the time gap between them, at least to establish whether or not he could at least beat Contador to win that stage.

    But no, certain "team-related" things were more important -- like making sure that Bradley Wiggins did as bad as possible so he wouldn't be able to surpass Contador after tomorrow's time trial. After Contador and the Schlecks had pulled away, Armstrong could've have caught up with them, but this would've allowed Wiggins to ride his slipstream and catch up as well. So Armstrong stayed put while Contador etal pulled ahead by more than two minutes, and only made a belated charge after he was sure Wiggins was "done".

    I was looking forward to seeing Armstrong challenge Contador one more time -- and I was looking forward to seeing if the upstart Wiggins could pull the big upset and somehow win the Tour. Lance's "team-focused" approach ended up screwing up BOTH scenarios. #$%^&&&**&&(()!!!!!!
  8. Joined
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    23 Jul '09 03:33
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    Today was a great example of why the "team thing" bothers me.

    At one point there were only a small number of riders left in the front including Contador and Armstrong. Contador (and the Schleck brothers) then pulled away from the rest, and I wanted Armstrong to go with them. I wanted to see Armstrong throw everything into beating Contador on the mounta ...[text shortened]... s "team-focused" approach ended up screwing up BOTH scenarios. #$%^&&&**&&(()!!!!!!
    Seems to me that Armstrong would've gone with the Schlecks, Contador and Kloden if he had the legs. He didn't and neither did anyone else. To say that Armstrong didn't have his chances because of the "team thing" makes no sense. To say that "Armstrong could've have caught up with them" sounds like wishful thinking to me. He might have and he might not have. But clearly he wasn't up to the challenge when the Schlecks put the hammer down.
  9. Joined
    15 Oct '06
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    23 Jul '09 03:411 edit
    Originally posted by trev33
    the tour started and has finished on sunday it seems....yesterday was entertaining though, as will today's stage i think.

    [b]looks like someone is actually better than Lance in the mountains. But is this because of Lance's age and time off, or would Contador have been able to beat Lance at least a couple times in his prime?


    it's a shame we didn't s e next best thing is to be on the same team and split the winners prize money.[/b]
    I'd have a hard time putting Contador above Marco Pantani as a climber from what I've seen thus far. Pantani was truly extraordinary.

    Do you really rate Contador higher than Pantani?
  10. Joined
    10 Jan '08
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    10264
    23 Jul '09 06:56
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    and the Giants knew they couldn't beat the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl 42
    and the Red Sox knew they couldn't beat the Yankees after losing the first three games.
    and Buster Douglas knew he couldn't beat Mike Tyson
    and Tom Watson knew a 59-yr old had no chance to contend for a major golf title.

    One of the great things about sports is that upset ...[text shortened]... have a very strong team without having arguably the top four riders all on the same team.
    they're not the top 4 riders in the tour. agree that contador and armstrong shouldn't be on the same team but it didn't really matter this year, armstrong doesn't have the legs to keep up with contador which was proven yesterday, team orders didn't play a part in armstrong not following the break yesterday. if he could have went he would have, same with wiggins, brad has done really well this year and he was never expected to be a challenger. yesterday was just to tough for him, but he should do well today if he has the legs.

    you need strong riders like kloden in your team if you want to win the tour, i've already mentioned the team time trail but also the little things like bringing food and drinks to the team leader, if you don't have guys that can keep up in the mountains the team leader pretty much has to fend for himself. there's a whole lot of little things that go into winning a grand tour and you need the best team possible to do this. when it comes down to it this is their job and they want to get paid, since the winner divides his winners cheque amongst the rest of the team it pays to be in the team that has the winner rather that being team leader and coming in the top 10.
  11. Joined
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    10264
    23 Jul '09 07:01
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    I'd have a hard time putting Contador above Marco Pantani as a climber from what I've seen thus far. Pantani was truly extraordinary.

    Do you really rate Contador higher than Pantani?
    funny i thought of pantani when i was writing that, pantani is a legend but i think contador will prove he's a better climber. hard to compare though if you don't see them going head to head.
  12. Joined
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    10264
    23 Jul '09 07:40
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    I don't believe the cheating has been any worse in cycling than in any other sport.
    i disagree, the only other sport that compares to the doping that's in cycling is baseball it seems. just yesterday the runner up and past winner of the giro d'italia danilo di luca tested positive.

    it is getting better though.
  13. Joined
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    23 Jul '09 10:001 edit
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Seems to me that Armstrong would've gone with the Schlecks, Contador and Kloden if he had the legs. He didn't and neither did anyone else. To say that Armstrong didn't have his chances because of the "team thing" makes no sense. To say that "Armstrong could've have caught up with them" sounds like wishful thinking to me. He might have and he might not have. But clearly he wasn't up to the challenge when the Schlecks put the hammer down.
    I agree - it's pretty clear Armstrong can't live with Contador and the Schlecks when they really go for it in the mountains. He managed to get back to them the day before because they eased off.


    Apart from the fact that it's completely impossible to enforce this idea of "one big competitor per team", watching the Schleck brothers working together to try (and fail) to break Contador is a great argument against it. It was fascinating to watch, and it would be a real shame to split them up.
  14. Joined
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    23 Jul '09 14:44
    Originally posted by trev33
    i disagree, the only other sport that compares to the doping that's in cycling is baseball it seems. just yesterday the runner up and past winner of the giro d'italia danilo di luca tested positive.

    it is getting better though.
    baseball is the other sport that's taking the drug issue seriously.
  15. Joined
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    23 Jul '09 15:161 edit
    Originally posted by mtthw
    I agree - it's pretty clear Armstrong can't live with Contador and the Schlecks when they really go for it in the mountains. He managed to get back to them the day before because they eased off.


    Apart from the fact that it's completely impossible to enforce this idea of "one big competitor per team", watching the Schleck brothers working together to try ...[text shortened]... nt against it. It was fascinating to watch, and it would be a real shame to split them up.
    Yes - you can argue that Armstrong just "didn't have the legs".

    but you can also argue that he knew that making up the 1:30+ margin on Contador to win the overall tour was a longshot. So the next best thing would be to do nothing that would help Wiggins.

    Unless Lance comes out and says he just couldn't keep up, we'll never know for sure. He may well have been beaten anyway, but considering the kind of competitor that Lance is, it seems unlikely he would have dropped back as quietly as he did. But who knows?

    I agree that there is no way you enforce a rule to prevent "all-star teams" -- it is what it is -- and I don't really mind when you have two contenders on the same team. But when you get too many gourmet chefs in the kitchen....

    Which brought up another dilemma. Contador's decision to ramp up the pace ended up hurting his teammate Kloden, who couldn't keep up the pace and lost a lot of time to the Schleck brothers. There was much discussion about whether Contador should've held back and forced the Schlecks to do all the work of lifting the pace.

    So you had the strange situation where the likely Tour winner was being criticized for being a bad domestique.

    Actually, the more I think about it, these all-star teams do present all sorts of weird calculations and strategies - where the even the top rider might have to make a sacrifice for a teammate. You have conflicts going on within the team over who the "top guy" really is -- there were rumors earlier in the Tour that there was some major friction between Contador and Armstrong. They evidently smoothed everything over, but what if they hadn't? And who knows what craziness would've unfurled had Leipheimer not broken his wrist.

    Maybe I've been wrong about the team thing. The ideal might actually be to have two equal super-teams, each one with 5 of the top 10 riders on it -- and let those two teams do battle with each other, and let the teammates do battle amongst themselves. This would be a lot of fun. Especially if after these guys beat each other up, some other team's rider sneaked in and won it.
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