jmnikricket wrote:While watching the stage, I was sure a deal had been made since Cervelo had taken yesterdays stage. Thinking about it a little more, it's possible Pauwels was ordered just to sit up, not necessarily to help Sastre today, but to conserve energy to help tomorrow. It's no secret that Cervelo is riding for Sastre and Sastre is targeting mondays stage to gain time.
Pauwels, obviously frustrated, rebelled by keeping with the chase group and contesting the sprint for second in a kind of "I told you so" move. Pauwels has my sympathy if this is the case, but based on that, I'm not so sure Sastre can count on Pauwels as a team player in tomorrows important stage.
btw I'm a Sastre fan, and I realize opportunities don't come up often like this for domestiques, but if it helps Sastre get on the podium, then I think it's justified.
Honestly, you can't say Pauwels was a bad team player in all this. He was strong today, and said he was rather surprised to find out he and Bertagnolli ended up alone on the climb. He just found himself in that difficult position, and let Bertagnolli do all the work, just as the DS ordered him to do. Eventually he did fall back, just as they asked him to do. While I think that in this case, there are many riders who would have said "Screw it, I'm not passing on this unique opportunity" and stay ahead, regardless of what the DS yells at at you through the headset. Afterwards Pauwels was very cool and relaxed about the whole thing, putting it into perspective and wholeheartedly conforming that the whole team has only one goal: helping Sastre win the Giro. Every other personal goal is irrelevant, even when it comes to winning a stage. Of course he sounded disappointed, but he never did anything to discredit his team, his captain or his DS. Heck, he even thanked them for getting the opportunity to ride this Giro, being the young an insignificant rider he is. Which is pretty remarkable, 'cause he had every reason to badmouth his team.