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TDF2009 - standard higher than ever?

zammmmozammmmo Posts: 315
edited January 2010 in Pro race
In the latest podcast from Ned Boulting and Matt Rendell, there are some comments from David Millar stating he suspects LA thinks Contador is possibly better than LA ever was. If you look at the GC from 2009 there were alot of contenders for the podium, and the time differences weren't that large.

This got me thinking about the varying standard of elite riders at the TDF in the last 10 years. In the LA years, Ullirch never seemed to recapture the form/promise he showed in the mid to late 90s, then you had the top 2 riders (Basso+Ullrich) removed from the 2006 Tour, Sastre winning in 2008 and you have to say he was at a level below many of the other riders in 2009, during the Lance years with the exception of Mayo, Ullrich and Basso, no one really threathened LA, and even then you'd put your money on LA.

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  • afx237viafx237vi Posts: 12,630
    zammmmo wrote:
    In the latest podcast from Ned Boulting and Matt Rendell, there are some comments from David Millar stating he suspects LA thinks Contador is possibly better than LA ever was. If you look at the GC from 2009 there were alot of contenders for the podium, and the time differences weren't that large.

    You could argue that was down to the route rather than the riders.
  • timoid.timoid. Posts: 3,133
    Last year's tour didn't have enough stages that could cause a difference in times. You will see much larger gaps this year.
    It's a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired.
  • calvjonescalvjones Posts: 3,850
    One might argue that the mid-Eighties, with Fignon, Hinault, leMond et al were pretty high standard.

    Frankly, only LA and AC from last year were prior GT winners who were in form (IIRC); if Menchov, Sastre and Cadel had been thereabouts, you might have had a point. Wiggo wouldn't have seen which way the Badger went.

    Although 2010 could end up with a very high standard.
    ___________________

    Strava is not Zen.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Mid 80s were for me, the glory years of the tour. Maybe I'm mis-remembering it, but I certainly remember that when it hit the mountains - you'd just get the team leaders away together fighting all the way up the hills. And Lemond v Hinault on the Alpe - class.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I agree regarding the 2009 course - there were only 2 or 3 days of serious racing - the remainder was a boring procession and hopefully the more challenging 2010 course will serve to expose both weaknesses in riders and at the same time, hopefully a greater degree of variability. What you don't get today is the 'off-day' syndrome that was typical of the GTs in the 80's where leading contenders would lose and gain time with each other throughout the race which introduced an element of suspense. Call me a cynic, but expect that for some, the results for 2010 are already being prepared in a laboratory somewhere, ready for the final rest-day.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • terongiterongi Posts: 318
    Where do i find the podcast referred to by the OP?
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  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,111
    zammmmo wrote:
    during the Lance years with the exception of Mayo, Ullrich and Basso, no one really threathened LA, and even then you'd put your money on LA.

    Beloki had Armstrong's number in 2003 until he fell off - he probably would have won that year. Zulle may well have won in 1999 if it wasn't for the time lost in a split in the early stages.
  • calvjonescalvjones Posts: 3,850
    MatHammond wrote:
    zammmmo wrote:
    during the Lance years with the exception of Mayo, Ullrich and Basso, no one really threathened LA, and even then you'd put your money on LA.

    Beloki had Armstrong's number in 2003 until he fell off - he probably would have won that year. Zulle may well have won in 1999 if it wasn't for the time lost in a split in the early stages.

    Ullrich couldn't do it '03, although you can argue that was down to tactical naivety and rain. Wonder how much time Beloki would have lost around Nantes (was it?)
    ___________________

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  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 9,139
    Also the GC can get bunched in the places shy of the podium due to Tactical reasons
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • afx237vi wrote:
    zammmmo wrote:
    In the latest podcast from Ned Boulting and Matt Rendell, there are some comments from David Millar stating he suspects LA thinks Contador is possibly better than LA ever was. If you look at the GC from 2009 there were alot of contenders for the podium, and the time differences weren't that large.

    You could argue that was down to the route rather than the riders.

    +1.

    I would actually say the '09 tour wasn't as strong as usual. I also don't think we saw everything from AC and AS last summer, I think they could've blown the race apart much more in the mountains if they wanted to, but for whatever reason one didn't have to attack and the other was too concerned about getting his brother on the podium.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,523
    zammmmo wrote:

    This got me thinking about the varying standard of elite riders at the TDF in the last 10 years. In the LA years, Ullirch never seemed to recapture the form/promise he showed in the mid to late 90s.................

    I going to have to say that finishing in 2nd. place in more than a few TDF's would be
    indicative of "pretty good form" on his part. When you ride mega miles over the period of just under a month and there is only 5 minutes between 1st. and 2nd. this seems to say to me that someones in d*mn good shape. Even if he did ONLY come in second.
  • timoid.timoid. Posts: 3,133
    dennisn wrote:
    zammmmo wrote:

    This got me thinking about the varying standard of elite riders at the TDF in the last 10 years. In the LA years, Ullirch never seemed to recapture the form/promise he showed in the mid to late 90s.................

    I going to have to say that finishing in 2nd. place in more than a few TDF's would be
    indicative of "pretty good form" on his part. When you ride mega miles over the period of just under a month and there is only 5 minutes between 1st. and 2nd. this seems to say to me that someones in d*mn good shape. Even if he did ONLY come in second.

    But in 96 he promised to be the next Merckx. Caning people by massive margins and being pretty much untouchable. He remained a very good, maybe even great* rider, but never looked like being the all dominant force people thought he would be.

    *fogetting pesky details like dopage
    It's a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,523
    Timoid. wrote:
    dennisn wrote:
    zammmmo wrote:

    This got me thinking about the varying standard of elite riders at the TDF in the last 10 years. In the LA years, Ullirch never seemed to recapture the form/promise he showed in the mid to late 90s.................

    I going to have to say that finishing in 2nd. place in more than a few TDF's would be
    indicative of "pretty good form" on his part. When you ride mega miles over the period of just under a month and there is only 5 minutes between 1st. and 2nd. this seems to say to me that someones in d*mn good shape. Even if he did ONLY come in second.

    But in 96 he promised to be the next Merckx. Caning people by massive margins and being pretty much untouchable. He remained a very good, maybe even great* rider, but never looked like being the all dominant force people thought he would be.

    *fogetting pesky details like dopage


    I would guess that HE didn't make the promise to be the next Eddy. That sounds like media wishful thinking on a slow news day. He did what he was capable of, won the TDF and came in 2nd. more than a few times. Sounds like a GREAT rider to me.
  • shinyhelmutshinyhelmut Posts: 1,347
    dennisn wrote:
    I would guess that HE didn't make the promise to be the next Eddy. That sounds like media wishful thinking on a slow news day.

    It would make an interesting list wouldn't it, all those cyclists touted by journos as The Next Merckx (tm)

    I'm, with Dennis here, Ulrich was a great rider, just not quite as great as LA*, and he did win the Vuelta pretty much single handed iirc, which Lance never did.

    *fogetting pesky details like dopage
  • calvjonescalvjones Posts: 3,850
    I think the difference is that Lance fulfilled his physical potential 100% but nobody could ever argue that of fat Jan. WRT the other thread tonight,

    I suspect Jan was just too rounded a person (arf!) and too damn nice to do so.

    Not that I'v ever sucked down a beer with etc etc etc.
    ___________________

    Strava is not Zen.
  • shinyhelmutshinyhelmut Posts: 1,347
    calvjones wrote:
    I think the difference is that Lance fulfilled his physical potential 120%.

    Sorry, couldn't resist correcting you :lol:
  • GrimoneGrimone Posts: 95
    dennisn wrote:
    Timoid. wrote:
    dennisn wrote:
    zammmmo wrote:

    This got me thinking about the varying standard of elite riders at the TDF in the last 10 years. In the LA years, Ullirch never seemed to recapture the form/promise he showed in the mid to late 90s.................

    I going to have to say that finishing in 2nd. place in more than a few TDF's would be
    indicative of "pretty good form" on his part. When you ride mega miles over the period of just under a month and there is only 5 minutes between 1st. and 2nd. this seems to say to me that someones in d*mn good shape. Even if he did ONLY come in second.

    But in 96 he promised to be the next Merckx. Caning people by massive margins and being pretty much untouchable. He remained a very good, maybe even great* rider, but never looked like being the all dominant force people thought he would be.

    *fogetting pesky details like dopage


    I would guess that HE didn't make the promise to be the next Eddy. That sounds like media wishful thinking on a slow news day. He did what he was capable of, won the TDF and came in 2nd. more than a few times. Sounds like a GREAT rider to me.

    Sounds like a convicted Doper to me.....nevertheless a fantastic rider, one of the classiest ever.
    Don't rake up my mistakes, i know exactly what they are.
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