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I like Contador even less now [Definate Spoiler]
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Should AC have attacked.
 28%  [ 7 ]
 72%  [ 18 ]
Total Votes : 25

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Mark McM
Joined: 22 Jun 2004
Posts: 1254
Location: Boston, MA

7/20/10 9:23 AM

Ullrich waited

Garth wrote:

Schleck attacked first.
So what was Contador supposed to do, sit up and wait for him because Schleck dropped his chain when attacking Contador??

Like the guy who gets punched then renders first-aid to the puncher's sore hand? Not likely.

It is expected that if the race leader has a mechanical (when NOT attacking), that his rivals will wait, a la Ullrich when Armstrong got pulled down accidently by a spectator several years ago, but as soon as you turn a pedal "in anger" attacking your rivals, the you will get whatever comes your way.

If you go back and watch that stage in the 2003 tour, you'll see that it was Armstrong that was on the attack when he was pulled down by the musette bag. Ullrich was chasing, and then did not counter-attack when he passed Armstrong lying on the road.

bikerjohnpostal wrote:

The only reason Ullrich waited was because Hamilton, when with CSC, told the group to wait.

Again, you might want to review the stage coverage. Hamilton had already been dropped by the Armstrong/Ullrich group before Armstrong attacked, and was well behind when Armstrong fell. The only reason that Hamilton rejoined the group was because Ullrich (and the others) waited. Hamilton was telling others in the group not to attack, not Ullrich. After Armstrong caught back up to the group, and the attacks started again, Hamilton was again dropped Ullrich and the rest of the group.

Interestingly, after Armstrong re-joined the group, it was obvious that we wanted to attack again, but could not out of courtesy for those who waited for him. He had to wait for another rider to attack the group, and then chase that attacker, before he could counter-attack.

bikerjohnpostal wrote:

I agree that the only reason Lance waited for Ullrich, when Ullrich did the somersault was to work together to time into others.

I'm inclined to disagree with this. Ullrich blew a turn and went off the road into a ditch at considerable speed (disappearing from view temporarily). For a short time, it was unclear whether he would even be able to get back onto his bike, let alone contribute to a breakaway. For all they know, the time Armstrong (and his group) would need to wait for Ullrich to rejoin was more than they could get if Ullrich was able to contribute to working with the group.

When Boonen and Hincapie were both on U.S. Postal and working together at 2002 Paris-Roubaix to chase down Museeuw, Boonen sure didn't wait after Hincapie rode into a ditch - and if he had, he surely wouldn't have made it onto the podium.

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Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 330
Location: Miraflores de la Sierra (Madrid), Spain.

7/20/10 9:33 AM

To me the crux is that Schlecklet attacked....

If AS had not attacked, then dropped his chain, certainly the others should ride tempo, BUT he attacked first, so any "gentleman's agreement" or "unwritten rule" is torn up and thrown to the wind.

He dropped the chain to the inside of the crank-arm, it is clear in the photo at post #769.

Most of the twitter posts from the riders seem to think that "that's racing" - again I stress that if AS had not attacked, I am quite confident that neither AC or the others (well, maybe Vino) would have continued the attack.

You throw down the gauntlet, and if shit happens after that, BAD LUCK CHARLIE.....

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Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 4390
Location: metro-motown-area

7/20/10 9:42 AM

maybe it's those crappy specialized cranks?!?! at least...

...NOW this TdF is exciting to me! ;-)

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Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 18661
Location: PDX

7/20/10 11:04 AM

"NOW this TdF is exciting to me!"

I was going to say that the other day. ;)

And today's stage added to the enjoyment as well.

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Tom Price
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 494
Location: Rochester, NY

7/21/10 9:47 AM

My (and others) Thoughts

I find Zinns report interesting. I could not figure out why the back of the bike jumped up. His theory makes sense. As far as should Contador have stayed In a race if you have all your rivals near you at the top of a climb you can not stop and discuss because somebody will go over the top and rocket down the hill. You have to go or you will be left in the dust.

Found this on "Drunk Cyclist":

My own take is this: There are no gifts.

That said, it is a damn shitty way to take the GC. Especially as he may well hold it through till Paris. I’m sure he would have much rather just rode his adversaries clean off his wheel like a champion should. But, seriously, what the hell could he have done in that situation? Fucking stand there next to his bike while Schleck took a crash course in bike mechanics? Don’t run big-big. If you do, bolt on a chain watcher (or minder or whatever). They weigh about as much as a fucking bottle cap and it would have saved your ass.

There are men behind Contador in the GC as well. Several very talented cyclists who you had better believe want to win this thing. And those men were also there when Schleck ham-fisted his gear selection. And those men were not stopping for anything short of cannon fire and tanks. It was on. And Contador did what damn near anyone else in the race would have done. He rode up the hill and he didn’t look back.

The sad part, to me anyway, is that this will be a stain on his accomplishment as people will always place an asterisk aside his name in the books saying, “what if…”

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Mark McM
Joined: 22 Jun 2004
Posts: 1254
Location: Boston, MA

7/21/10 11:19 AM

My take on the Contador's move

As we know, there are are many, many situations involving bad luck that can cost a rider time in the Tour, or even the race entirely. It is also true that there is sort of an unwritten rule that you should respect the yellow jersey, and also that you shouldn't take advantage of another rider's misfortune, especially if that misfortune is no fault of the rider. But I'm not sure that this incident really falls under that umbrella.

There has been some comparison between this incident and the 2001 and 2003 incidents between Armstrong and Ullrich. In the vain of "you don't kick a man when he's down", in both Armstrong/Ullrich cases the other rider literally was down - in 2001, Ullrich rode off the road and down an embankment into a ditch (being thrown off the bike along the way); in 2003, Armstrong crashed after tangling withe the musette bag and then was run over by Iban Mayo. In both cases, there was a very real chance the downed rider was injured, and it would have been classless to take advantage of an injured rider. If Schleck had gotten thrown over the handlebars when his rear wheel jumped and was lying prostrate on the road as Contador passed, then it would have been a classless move for Contador to figuratively "punch him while he was down". But in this case, Schleck merely slowed to a stop, and was never in danger of physical harm.

Throwing a chain is usually just a minor incident, and not even as bad as a flat tire or a broken spoke. With almost no assistance Schleck was able tto get going again in 30 seconds. Surely, an unfortunate incident, and at a very unfortunate time. But in this case the unfortunateness of the timing was largely of Schleck's own doing, so there is even less of a reason to blame Contador.

As far as Zinn's explaination, there is one part I have to disagree with. Zinn claims that the loop at the back of the derailleur cage snagged the cogs, causing the cogs to jam and stop, and thus instigating the rear wheel hop. But in my experience, the derailleur is a spindly thing dangling precariously off the rear drop out, and easily snapped off if it jams up with the chain or sprockets under power. And believe me, I've snapped my share of rear derailleurs to know that it doesn't take much. Schleck was under full power, so if the derailleur snagged the cogs, it probably would have ended up in many pieces.

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Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 8337
Location: Slowing boiling over in the steamy south, Global Warming is real

7/21/10 11:27 AM


Looking at it again. It was good ole chain suck, little cog and little ring = little chain tension on the bottom and in turn chain suck just like on a MTB.

Chain may have been a bit to long or the cage is just a bit to short.

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Mark McM
Joined: 22 Jun 2004
Posts: 1254
Location: Boston, MA

7/21/10 12:06 PM

Chainsuck, or getting snagged by the shift pickup pins?

Looking at it again. It was good ole chain suck, little cog and little ring = little chain tension on the bottom and in turn chain suck just like on a MTB.

Maybe, but chainsuck is usually caused by the chain getting stuck to the little ring by muck or gunk (as often found offroad), or by a worn chainring (the 'hooked' profile of a worn tooth can trap the chain), neither of which was likely for a well maintained Tour bike.

I've heard another, related theory on how the chain could get dropped from the bottom. As you note, Schleck was in an extreme cross-chain situation - little ring, little rear sprocket. What might have happened was that the chain was rubbing against the big chainring (as often happens in extreme cross-chaining), and the chain got snagged by one of the shift pick-up pins on the insde of the big chainring and pulled upward as the cranks rotated. The chain then got jammed agains the bottom of the chainstay, causing the cranks to stop, and Schleck's pedaling momentum caused the rear wheel to hop.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4968
Location: Nashua, NH

7/25/10 6:00 PM

That seems more likely...

...than Zinn's explanation. I have a hard time believing that the loop on the jockey cage behind the lower jockey wheel could possibly snag on any of the smaller cogs, as he postulates (though it might snag on some of the larger cogs). Moreover, if it did snag a cog hard enough to lock up the cassette momentarily, I have to believe there would have been some serious derailleur damage as a result. Schleck seemed to have no further trouble with the bike once he got the chain back on, so that makes the snagging theory highly unlikely in my mind.

FWIW, since switching to Campy 10 speed, I've experience chain suck on the cassette on several occasions. In particular, it seems to occur when making the 16-15 shift. The chain snags and the rear derailleur snaps around, then suddenly everything pops free. It's disconcerting to say the least. Perhaps something similar happened to Schleck.

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