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Old 07-22-2009, 03:24 PM   #31
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Looks like the Armstrong/Brunyeel vs. Contador tension is too much, and they will part ways after the Tour.

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A fractious relationship exists between the two team leaders on the Tour de France and while Bruyneel attempted to downplay the friction, he admitted that their personality clashes would make a collaboration on a new team untenable.

"There was never a 'click' between the two, I don't know why," said Bruyneel. But he added that "there was never as much friction" between the two as was reported.

Armstrong and Bruyneel are on the verge of leaving Astana and establishing a new team together, with the Belgian admitting it was "unthinkable" for him to continue to lead the Kazakhstan team in the event that Kazakh rider Alexandre Vinokourov returns to it after a suspension for doping as is expected.

Armstrong is expected to make a full announcement on the new team later today, but it remains unclear whether American sportswear giants Nike would be the sponsors of the new project.
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Old 07-22-2009, 03:55 PM   #32
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Yeah, the whole thing with Vino just added to it.

Contador is obviously the best climber, and with his improving TT skills, the best all-arounder. But at this point, he really doesn't listen very well, and his tactics are questionable.

Like today, he had no reason to attack at all. He should have just continued to let the Schlecks do all the work, but he tries anyway, and all he does is drop his own teammate. If Kloden had been with them at the end, he could have fought it out for the stage win (and probably would have taken it). Not only that, but Contador probably cost Kloden a chance at the podium.

I know the main goal is winning the whole thing, and Contador will, but Astana had a very good chance to go 1-2-3, an incredible feat, and with that one move, because he was thinking more about himself than the team, Contador ruined it.

Next year is going to be very interesting. It will depend on the makeup of the teams, but if Contador's isn't as strong because of the split, and there is another TTT, it could make for a different result, especially if Armstrong is more up to speed (although he'll be another year older).

Very interesting indeed.
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:07 AM   #33
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I can't wait for the time trial -- this has been a really fun week of Le Tour!

I was aghast at Contador's move. He said he had Kloden's blessing, but he's certainly been questioned by Levi, Lance and others.

I'm not a huge fan of Contador, but I certainly respect his climbing abilities. Lance says he's the best climber since Pantani in the late 90s. Says that Contador would beat Lance up the mountains even at his strongest.

Next year should be fantastic, if Bruyneel and Armstrong form a new team (without Contador, whom they don't seem to like). I don't see Armstrong at 38 as being a great contender, but they could have a great team. Andy Schleck should be that much better, Contador will still be the favorite, and hopefully some others will emerge. But any team with Bruyneel and Armstrong is gonna be a threat.

Contador is supremely talented, but seems to make a lot of tactical mistakes.
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Old 07-23-2009, 05:50 AM   #34
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From all reports it sounds like Cadel's about to go on a killing spree
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:32 AM   #35
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Contador's really flying on the TT. At this rate, it looks like Contador, A. Schleck, and Armstrong as the leaders. A. Schleck is doing well in the TT - only 5 seconds slower than Lance at check 3.
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:02 PM   #36
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Contador thundered through that TT. Man, he's pretty much got it all going on now.

A. Schleck did really well, losing only 15 seconds to Armstrong. He should be able to keep second easily now.

Third will be a real battle, but I think Lance will hold on to it. Now that Contador is over four minutes ahead of A. Schleck, I wouldn't be surprised if they just mark each other up Ventoux and Lance goes for it.
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:19 PM   #37
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I think today's top 3 GC will hold up until Sunday. This should be the podium.

Lance's new sponsor: Radio Shack.
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:18 PM   #38
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I'm wondering who is going to be on that team. It really depends on the contract status of certain riders, and I don't know whose ends this year and whose doesn't. I do know that Contador is signed with Astana through 2010.
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:47 PM   #39
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It took some searching, but I found that Leipheimer's contract is up at the end of the year, so you know he'll be joining Armstrong.

Also Chris Horner, who should've been at the Tour.
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Old 07-25-2009, 02:33 PM   #40
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Great ride today. The Schlecks gave it everything they had, but they couldn't get rid of Armstrong, and Wiggins held on just enough for fourth.

And kudos to Contador, who did very well from a tactical standpoint today. He looked like he could've gone at anytime and won the thing, but he just stayed with A. Schleck and seemed to be helping Armstrong a bit by sticking around.
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Old 07-25-2009, 06:16 PM   #41
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I was happy for Lance. It's quite the accomplishment to podium at age 37.

Interestingly, he thinks that Contador might have beaten him even at his best -- that's how good Contador is. Hard to say, but it would have been fun to watch them race against each other in their prime.

I think Frank Schleck just didn't have the legs today, but he sure had a great Tour.

Next year should be very interesting, with Andy Schleck that much better, and the emergence of Team RadioShack. It will be interesting to see how Contador fares on whichever new team he goes to. He won't be surrounded by as much talent as this year, but I'm sure he'll still be the favorite.

But I'd like to see Andy Schleck win. He's a valiant rider.
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:13 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobl04 View Post
From all reports it sounds like Cadel's about to go on a killing spree
I'm quite sure I wouldn't want to be around Cadel when he's a mite aggravated...

What an amazing stage up Mont Ventoux, I've never seen so many spectators! And watching Andy Schleck, Armstrong and Contador match each other stroke for stroke (or the cycling equivalent) was damn impressive.
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Old 07-25-2009, 11:43 PM   #43
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Love Cadel, I love his honesty and that he never holds back, he just let's rip. Rare in an Aussie sportsperson. hope he recovers from this year's disaster, and finds a good team and challenges for next year.
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:05 PM   #44
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Over for another year Still now I can get some proper sleep...
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:07 PM   #45
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My mom was on the Champs Elysees this afternoon watching the race (she's in France on business), and says it was absolutely spectacular. I'll put up some pictures once she sends them to me.

:jealous:
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