Twisted Spoke

My twisted take on the world of pro bike racing.

Contador vs Armstrong. How to lose the 2010 Tour de France before it starts.

with 6 comments

Where am I going? Where am I going, Fran?

Where am I going? Where am I going, Fran?

Try to comprehend in your mind, if you can, the following phrases: Lance Armstrong unclear, Lance Armstrong lost, Armstrong confused. Lance Armstrong just having a hard time making up his mind.

Who could imagine that reality? Think about cancer survivor, 7 time Tour de France winner, billion dollar fund raiser, author and motivational speaker and then attempt — yes, make your absolute best effort — to attach the words lost or indecisive to Lance Armstrong. Impossible. Not in forever.

And yet that is where brilliant rider and clueless planner Alberto Contador finds himself. In limbo, still under contract to Astana, a shell of a team, gutted by departing manager Johan Bruyneel, a team without a director sportif, a team without a plan barely hanging onto its Pro Tour license.

There Alberto sits, day after day, month after month, contemplating, dithering, doing the Hamlet-bicycle thing — “to depart or not to depart, that is the question.” Semantics tell the story, the difference between the iron will and ambition of Armstrong and a nice Spanish lad with incredible skill but no idea where to go. It’s not about the bike, it’s about the brain.

Examine the Language of Contador: ” I need a team,” ” we are awaiting the UCI’s decision” (about Astana’s license) and “we can’t do much until we know if Alberto can leave or not. We have been waiting a long time.” The attitude is helplessness, confusion, letting fate dictate, throwing up your hands and saying, someone please figure out my life. Contador is not a Carpe Diem kinda guy.

In the same time frame, Lance and Johan Bruyneel have put together a new team, lined up sponsors, stripped Astana of quality riders and built an entire Tour-ready machine to crush all rivals. Armstrong is probably in the wind tunnel right now. He’s haranguing Trek about making his time trial bike even faster. He’s insisting that Nike cut another 10 grams of weight off his cycling shoes. He’s examining micro-fiber samples to see which one wicks better. He’s reviewing photos for the cover of his next book. He’s taking care of business, folks.

This is how you win 7 tours versus how you win two because gosh, you were really good but didn’t have a clue off the bike. Every day that Alberto Contador lays in bed lost raises the odds that Lance Armstrong and Andy Schleck will beat him in the Tour. The Spanish rider may become the first tour winner to essentially knock himself off the podium 9 months before the race begins.

Alberto is waiting for someone, anyone to give him an out. He is not the master of his own domain. That he leaves up to Fran — no, not some house-cleaner in Des Moines — Fran, his brother. You can see the problem right there. Never ask a Fran about anything except bathroom cleaners.

And sadly the answer to this cycling conundrum is clear to anyone who has followed pro cycling for 5, maybe six minutes. Break contract with crazy Kazak team that can’t pay bills and brought back drug pariah Vinokourov. Sign with powerful Caisse D’Epargne team loaded with Spanish riders that’s likely to lose their best tour rider, Alejandro Valverde, to doping suspension. Double duh. Fran, put two and two together, fetch brother, tell news.

When will this happen? No prediction on that but one thing is obvious: Armstrong will be ready. Contador, that’s a big question mark.

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Written by walshworld

September 21, 2009 at 3:54 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Idiot blog LA might have a strong team but the lot of these senior citizens still cant pedal up hill for lance and even if u could combine all the efforts of these old men this young man AC can produce far greater numbers than LA could ever dream of even in his prime wow

    LT

    October 20, 2009 at 4:46 am

    • LT, first off, we’re all idiots — it’s sports, just kids trying to act like adults and guessing what comes next. Second, most of those senior citizens like Kloden and Leipheimer and Horner helped Contador win another tour. Lance has a pretty good track record in hiring support riders and he’ll get rid of them quickly if they don’t measure up to his sky-high standards. WIll Contador beat Lance in 2010? Probably. But with a gutted Astana team, maybe not.

      walshworld

      October 20, 2009 at 4:58 am

  2. Wow dude (walshworld), you are really a Contador hater. Armstrong will falter come the mountains in the TDF 2010. You will drown in your own hate when Contador beats the shit out of your boy Lance.
    Lance will not even be on the podium. Maybe Leipheimer will.

    Iker Baqueiro

    December 19, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    • Iker, baby, no. I am not a hater from the ghetto, dawg. Shit, man. Armstrong is not “my boy.” Genetically impossible, for starters. If you read more than one of my blog posts, you know I’m not drinking the Armstrong kool-aid. Contador is the best stage racer, bar none and has a good shot at repeating. And he was not only physically but mentally impressive in the 2009 tour. But would anyone who follows cycling disagree that Astana is a mess and only just now pulling itself together? I doubt you could find one person that thinks this is still a geat team — including Alberto’s own statement opionions and well-documented desire to leave. Vino hater? Yeah. Alberto hater. Nope.

      walshworld

      December 21, 2009 at 9:44 pm

  3. How pathetic have Lance fans now become? And what is with the prejudice against the Spanish? (Fran/toilet cleaner theme)? Spanish are European cultured people unlike you cowboy yanks who like putting down Mexicans.

    Talk is cheap, once the race starts your geriatric Lance will be left behind.

    Mario

    February 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    • Mario, thanks for writing. Holy Moly, if you read my blog regularly you’d know I make fun of Lance along with everyone else. No idea what you’re talking about with the Spanish prejudice comment. Also I am not a cowboy and do not own a horse. And again no idea what you’re talking about with the Mexican put-down thing. Are you reading with your glasses on? Love the Vuelta Chihuahua in Mexico and I’m doing the Rosarito to Ensenada fun ride in mid March. Love Mexico. In any case, keep reading. I’m sure I’ll annoy you again soon.

      walshworld

      February 25, 2010 at 6:19 pm


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