When did Contador's frame break, and why? Was he on the bike at the time? Are one of the various Specialized/Saxo stories correct? Can't wait for your analysis.
I’m pretty sure the frame Contador was riding didn’t break.
I dislike Specialized about as much as anyone they haven’t sued, but I’ve never said they make bad bikes. I find it extremely difficult to believe Contador’s bike (or any modern production frame) would have snapped like that, either JRA, or from hitting a pothole.
A number of photos have surfaced showing Contador’s backup bike smashed up on the Belkin car, as the “official” explanation suggests. Belkin has confirmed contact with the Astana Tinkoff-Saxo car and the road where Contador crashed was extremely narrow (barely enough space for riders to get past as he was tended to) so a collision is pretty believable.
As for Contador’s crash itself, several riders have said he slipped off his bars while being kind of an aggressive idiot and simultaneously trying to eat on the the descent. They said it was big, but none of them reported the bike being totaled.
The Roche bike on the ground when cameras caught up with Contador corroborates the two crash (or at least two stop) hypothesis, and the apparently contradictory totaled-ness of his shoe will be familiar to anyone who’s ever tried to tripod to stay upright at speed.
The real lesson here isn’t that people are crazy and love conspiracy theories. It’s that if your company has a long and storied history of being a litigious jerk, people will want to make you the bad guy regardless of what the facts say. Consider your lawsuits accordingly.
“They were random sectors to remove and certainly not for any reason resembling rider safety; furthermore by looking at a map you see they simply yanked out the two sectors with the easiest detours.”—Ted King, confirming my personal suspicions about the omission of two sectors of cobbles from yesterday’s stage.
“The points system is death of developing young riders, the death of team work and the clearest path for cheating. You’re not going to work for a team-mate because if you can sprint and get 19th place to get some points, and your contract is largely going to be based on points. A young rider won’t have points, so who can [afford] young talent? Teams with a lot of points. Sky can do it, BMC can do it… The rich get richer; the other teams struggle.”—Bob Stapleton, newly-elected chairman of the board at USAC, in a 2012 interview with Cyclingtips.
I’m pretty psyched that he’s back. I really hope be brought a hatchet.