"The Bus" up the Passo Del Mortirolo (1854m) on stage 16: Pinzolo - Aprica (174km) of the 2015 Giro d'Italia
  • Gordon

    My jury is still out on the “chain gate” affair. From memory Contador had busted some spokes on one of the cobbled earlier stages and Cancellara was driving Schleck home to gain an advantage. Again from memory time gained was about the same.
    Correct me if I’m wrong.
    Now for the controversy, also from memory, that same Tour was the year that Cancellara “stopped” the racing on a wet stage. While I’m all for riders safety it is an inherently dangerous sport and I was not that impressed…..I have never been a big fan of Cancellara from then on.
    Here we go. I am prepared for the differing views, or just pointing out that my memory is shocking. Away you go

    • Michele

      You are referring to 2010 TdF, when they raced to Spa [stage 2].

      Cancellara stopped the peloton from racing, because it was too dangerous. It didn’t matter that both the Schleck boys came down due to oil on the road, and Contador didn’t, and Bertie had a massive chance to put time into them.

      Cancellara gave up the opportunity to wear yellow by neutralizing the stage.

      Then the very next day on the cobbles to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, Frank Schleck crashed which held up some of the GC favourites, including Bertie, and Fabian immediately put the pedal to the metal so to speak.

      Once the breakaway formed [Andy Schleck was with Thomas, Evans, Thor etc], Cancellara did a mountain of work, forgoing the chance to win the stage and instead maximise the time differences between Andy and a chasing Alberto who had a mechanical in the closing km.

      With all that in mind, I can’t see envision Fabian deciding to neutralise Stage 2 if Contador crashed and the two Schlecks hadn’t.

      • Gordon

        Better memory than me (or more time to refresh your memory). Given more information it appears that Cancellara in 2010 was a good team player, nothing wrong with that, but prepared to bend the unwritten rules (can you do such a thing???).
        Agreed he wouldn’t have neutralised the stage if it didn’t suit him or his team. Wonder if he would give Porte a wheel, given my view probably yes, but then march straight to the jury after the stage just in case social media was not all over it.
        So as you have worked out I’m not a big fan. Great rider but not my favourite but I’m sure he has lost less sleep than me over it.

      • Dave

        The problem with the second stage to Spa was not the wet roads, but that a police motorbike had crashed on the course and spilled fuel all over the road. I thought that was a fair case for neutralising it, and enough of the peleton agreed with Fabian to make it work. Same with the 2012 one where there were tacks on the road – a clear case of outside influence.

        But for the 2010 crash on the cobbles, Andy crossing his chain, for BMC and OGE going full gas to Monte Cassino last year and for last night’s stage, they were all legitimate racing incidents. The ‘unwritten rules’ shouldn’t apply here, that would be a retrograde step back towards the days when you had to ask permission from Eddy or Bernard before going on the attack.

        • Michele

          Agree 100%

        • Gordon

          Thanks Dave, had forgotten the fuel issue an agree

    • jakub

      Exactly that’s one of the points to the 2010 Contador – Schleck “chaingate” incident, which is now being used against Alberto that he did more or less the same. I think that yesterday’s Katusha-Astana collaboration can’t be compared to “chaingate”. First, the whole situation on Port de Bales was vastly different, Schleck went on attack and shortly after surge his chain went off, perhaps as a result of simultaenous front/rear shifting (indeed that’s something you should not try). Vinokourov and Contador immediately followed the attack, and it was after they went Schleck’s chain went off. So it was not that they were trying to take advantage after noticing that his chain was off – they simply followed the attack. Being on the rivet with heartbeat reaching 180’s, gasping for a breath at ~2000m of altitude, you probably won’t notice everything that his happening around you. Nevertheless, Contador immediately after stage apologized to Schleck, which was accepted and the whole matter was resolved. Second, there was this incident on stage 3 where Schleck gained more time than 39s that he lost on Port de Bales. So indeed, attacking 60km from finish line while maglia rosa gets puncture is not what you call fair play.

  • Gordon

    On a separate note Matt Richardson is both an idiot and my new hero

  • Paolo

    Typical Contador.. “don’t complain, don’t explain, just win the f@#$% race”. Love it.

  • Bob

    Anyone know why Contador is using mechanical Dura-Ace?
    I remember Cancellara saying something like “real men use cables” when he was asked why he stuck to mechanical (a quote I’ve used several times when being told how great Di2 is) but has Contador said anything on his reasons? Maybe something to do with the large cogs he uses on the hills – what size cassette can Di2 handle?

    • jules

      good question. here’s a conspiracy theory – could it be over concerns about battery reliability/durability in freezing temperatures? they certainly don’t work as well. but you’d think they’d last a stage. maybe he forgot to charge it? :)

      • Dave

        Are we really surprised that, out of hundreds of riders in the pro ranks, this is Contador and Cancellara that we are talking about here?

        The consensus among pro mechanics is that Di2/EPS is more reliable than mechanical now that the tech has matured. With a stage like last night that was run in quite variable temperatures, I’d personally consider Di2/EPS to be an advantage over mechanical cables which will stretch and contract.

        All the riders on the team were using the same gear ratios as Contador during last night’s stage, but I don’t recall seeing any of them having a problem.

    • Frank

      The battery in his seatpost is powering something else…

      • jules

        the real reason is that the motor has brought his bike weight above the limit and he needs to shave some weight, mechanical group set is lighter ;)

    • Eddie Groves

      I’ve heard on the coverage before that Contador is notorious for a “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” attitude towards bike tech.

      • Derek Maher

        Got to agree Eddy,Alberto goes with what he likes,Plus there is always the danger the mechanic might not fit a bunny battery and a cheapo one runs out of steam.

    • deejaypee

      http://youtu.be/GhhrXyZu1DM
      GCN had an explanation at 3:40 on why he prefers mechanical DA.

    • Marie Millers

      On GCN they did a review on Contador`s bike and stated that he is using mechanical gearing to keep the weight down on his bike.

      • Rosco

        Di2 is lighter than mech Dura Ace.
        He will probably just trusts it more.
        As awesome as Di2 is, when it fails, you have utterly no idea what is wrong with it. Whereas mechanical stuff is easy to diagnose or possibly work around.
        And it does fail. The batteries dont like really cold conditions like snow covered finishes in the giro.

      • jules

        strange, as their problem is keeping the weight at/above the 6.8kg minimum, not down

        • Dave

          Maybe that’s why Contador is running lardarse mechanical gearing, surely he knows that the team leader’s bike is the one most likely to be checked.

    • Michele

      There’s a little bit of Rafa Nadal in Alberto, in as much as he does seem to show some traits akin to OCD.

      One obvious example is in regards to his bikes.

      Contador sets up all his spare bikes exactky the same. They all have dossards attached to them. They all have transponders on them – even though they’re not activated.

      This doesn’t explain why he uses Mech Dura-Ace aside from the fact he is extremely particular when it comes to his ride.

      As others have suggested, perhaps it’s just a case of sticking with what he knows work.

      • Dave

        Releasing the rear brake before a climb is another one.

    • De Mac

      Ride mag indicated (in their TDU edition) that Tinkoff-Saxo were on a hybrid groupset as they are awaiting the release of FSA’s new electronic groupset. Thus, they have a mix of Shimano and FSA on their bikes.

  • Michele

    I must admit Ryder saw last night’s stage from a slightly different perspective to me.

    • Whippet

      I agree with you Michele, but Ryder’s frustration is understandable. I’ve never seen him work so hard, yet he can’t buy a stage win in this Giro.

      • Dave

        Maybe he should try buying a stage win if his body is no longer up to earning it the hard way.

        • Whippet

          Contador doesn’t appear to be selling.

          • Dave

            No, he would appear to be in the market as a buyer this year.

            • Whippet

              According to Ryder, it is Contador who is not letting the breakaway groups win stages.

              • Dave

                Oh no! Fancy being in a sport where others want to win more than you do!

                I’d suggest that Ryder call the waaaaaaaambulance, but going on the way Keeno and Tomo were carrying on last night it’s probably still busy mopping up the tears from Porte fans.

    • Arfy

      I think Ryder was referring to the first part of the race which wasn’t shown on SBS. The SBS coverage started when Tinkoff-Saxo were driving the peleton at 1:30 behind Ryder. They were going so fast that no-one else tried to bridge to Ryder, and this was probably his major frustration. In defence of Tinkoff-Saxo, I think they were doing so to prevent an Astana rider attacking and bridging to Ryder which could have caused all sorts of problems later in the stage.

      • Michele

        Yep – that’s how I saw it as well.

        The comment that AC is looking for stage wins isn’t quite correct. Contador has already stated his priority is to win Giro.

        As you’ve suggested, he was more concerned with an Astana rider going up the road.

  • Nick Clark

    I’m curious why there’s been buggerall speculation regarding Landa and doping, considering the team he rides for and the fact that he’s sitting a strong second after no one even thought he’d finish top-10… A bit too strong perhaps?

    • jules

      speculation?

    • Michele

      Tongue firmly planted in cheek:

      I didn’t think there was a reason to speculate.

      I think everyone just assumes he’s on the juice….

    • Derek Maher

      It could be Nick,That Landa is now getting into his best years as a rider and will rank among the greats in future.Why not give him credit for his talent rather than suggesting he is on something.

  • Michele

    Incidentally – been searching the web for this, but it appears as if the race officials haven’t put out a press release yet explaining Contador’s time penalty for pushing a team mate.

    No doubt it’s coming.

    • Dave

      I thought it was established earlier in the race (by the non-disqualification of Clarke and Porte) that the pushing rule was not being enforced at this race?

    • Daniel

      I’m more interested in when Aru is getting done for the couple of flings he got when going up the second to last climb from his team car. If you are going to use getting a gel as a pretense for getting a tow, at least have the decency to not throw the gel away straight afterward.

      • Michele

        Yep – saw that as well.

        Rule point clearly states that a time penalty applies for first offense.

        BTW – I’m not using this as a reason for why Porte shouldn’t have been penalised. I believe the right call was made. I also believe that what Contador did shouldn’t be penalised.

        Therefore 1 of 2 things [or both] need to happen:

        1, The race jury becomes more consistent in it’s applying of the laws, or
        2. The rules get a revamp

        To suggest Bertie get’s kicked off the Giro for those pushes like night is ridiculous. But the rules are very black and white on this.

        • Dave

          I don’t see any problem with the consistency regarding pushing – they didn’t DQ Porte and Clarke, and it appears that Contador and Kreuziger will get exactly the same treatment.

        • Daniel

          Yeah I agree. The Porte call was the right one, it’s just hard to swallow given the amount of stuff that passes the referrees by like riders across a train line (I’m making that an expression). Aru should be penalised, it was egregious.
          The UCI should use this as an opportunity to revamp the rule books and say “you get caught, you get penalised”. It will help return some credibility to the sport and that way we aren’t left saying “would an Italian have been punished” next time someone gets docked for an illegal wheel change.

  • Bracksy

    Contador has really matured over the years and his riding ability is what makes him a GT champion. Ryder, what a sore loser. You wanna win a stage, you fight for it, not cry over why other teams are chasing him down. Makes me wonder how in the hell he won the Giro few years ago…obviously because Contador was not there lol.

  • Derek Maher

    I have got to agree with Gianni Savio regarding Jim Ochowicz comments on restricting Team entries.
    Maybe Jim felt his Team would have done better if they restricted entry to just 3 Teams and they might have got a GC podium place.

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