Author: Lee Rodgers

Cycling coach, race organiser, former professional cyclist and the original CrankPunk.

5 thoughts

  1. Lee, okay, we get it. You do NOT like Contador. Its cool, not everyone does, or needs to, but you DO need to give a balanced analysis of the race.

    We can agree that Contador was completely isolated and brought a “B” or even “C” level team with him to the Dauphine. But the idea that he made a mistake by not controlling the Breakaway is ridiculous.

    Diude, the breakaway had: 3 SKYs, 2 ASTANAs, 2 Cofidis, 2 MOVISTARs, 3 AG2Rs, 3 LOTTOs (JVDB and 2 domestiques), 2 Garmins (Ryder and Talansky), plus TJVG, a Katusha and a NettApp-Endura.

    So you have 2 GC contenders (who ended up on the podium with AC) with a massive selection of other teams each with their own agenda and multiple teammates. Lee, you are a racer, and you KNOW better- Even if AC made the breakaway, which would have been a push- What do you think would have happenned? What have YOU done as a racer? Of COURSE you would quickly come to an agreement with the other teams to gang up on the strongest man on the road to try to drop him and decide the race among yourselves. You KNOW that Garmin would attack, then LOTTO then Movistar, then whoever else, and with no teammates, AC could never cover them all and he would have run the risk of exploding like Froome did. THAT would have been the mistake!

    Also, do not give me the “He should have gone with Nibali” nonsense either- Nibali is not on form and had 2 men in the break so you know that the Nibali group would not ride with AC…

    Given these tactical lemons, AC made lemonade. He stayed with Froome and gambled that he would recover and use his team to go for the win. When it was clear that Froome could not go and the breakaway started to get scattered over the mountain, then AC took off on a mountain pursuit/TT to catch Talansky, which he ALMOST did before running out of gas. Sometimes AC’s gambles win (Fuente De) and in this case it did not, but to say he fluffed his lines is totally disengenuous and your obvious anti-AC biases do a terrible disservice to your otherwise insightful and well written analyses

    That. Was. Amazing. Even if you do not like AC, you have to take your hat off to him for animating the race, neutralising Froome, proving that he was on a different level and that his 2013 form was an aberration, and forcing everyone to re-think their preparation for the TdF and coming second with ZERO TEAM SUPPORT (at critical times) in a Pro Tour Stage Race.

    Despise the man if you want, put pay him the respect that his talent and palmares deserves, and that your role as an ostensibly serious cycling analyst dictates…

    1. thanks for the comment, however i was calling it as i saw it, not with a bias against AC. and he did lose the race, and his team was weak, and he could have attacked earlier and therefore not lost. he was the strongest in the hills there and he had the choice to set the pace if he’d chosen.

      1. Lee, He could have attacked earlier and the done what? Just bridge to, attack and DROP 20 strong men in a breakaway by himself uphill? Really Dude? REALLY? Look, you have previously bolgged that “Contador Sucks”, so don’t waste my time saying that you do not have an anti-Contador bias- you do and its documented. Like I said, I am not interested in convincing you otherwise- your opinions are your own and valuable, and this is your blog, so you should certainly call things as YOU see them. But I do know that when I want clear-eyed, objective, and fair cycling analysis that describes the situation, breaks down the tactics and increases my appreciation and knowledge of the subtleties of this wonderful sport, I will go elsewhere, because clearly, you cannot see past “Contador Sucks” to appreciate the phenomenal (if imperfect) rider that he is. Cheers and enjoy the rest of the season…

      2. if he’d been with them on the final climb, who could have dropped him? and yes, when i wrote it i wasn’t coming down on him from a ‘i don’t like him’ POV.

      3. Lee, you are a knowledgeable cyclist and a good writer, but your expectations of Condor’s performance are completely unreasonable and AC will never be able to meet your expectations. You unsparingly castigate the man for doping, and yet expect him to (a) BRIDGE – *solo*- to a 20 man breakaway filled with quality riders including 2 GC contenders, almost all of whom have at least 1 teammate for support. (b) CONTROL – *solo*- all of those really good riders AND be willing to chase down-*solo*- all the inevitable attacks that WILL come one-after-the-other until he…. (c) DROPS all those said riders like a sack of mangoes as he powered to a *solo* summit finish at teh end of a tough week of racing in his first race back from 8 weeks of training. Jeez, would you also like him to shoot laser beams from his eyes, levitate, and shape-shift into alternate dimensions while you are at it? 🙂 Dude, even if he COULD do that, (which is HIGHLY debatable) I reckon that you would be at the front of the queue banging on about how that was a completely extra-terrestrial performance and a throwback to the bad old USPS days of Hincapie winning a mountain stage over 5 Pyreenean passes (which it would be). The man is human, rode with passion and commitment right to his limit and did his best given the tactical situation in which he found himself. What more could you possibly ask of him? (For you that is question asked and answered isn’t it?) As I said before, your opinion is almost always well stated, entertaining and expressed in an amazing forum with PEZ and this is YOUR blog so more power to you. But for me, your opinion is also breathtakingly biased, terribly unfair and smacks of a double standard that is disappointing from someone as experienced and knowledgeable as yourself. But clearly you have your opinion and I have mine. Best wishes, and again, its a real pity- I enjoyed your analyses! Cheers!

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