deValtos wrote:Of course everything is easier in hindsight, but I don't think you need that hindsight to see that to break Contador for 2:21 you should attack him a bit earlier than 3km to go. If the roles were reversed it's not hard to guess what Contador would do, which of course they were on stage 17. I bet when Alberto attacked way out he had no idea if it was going to work or not.
It's the problem with many of these Unipublic brutal MTFs that all the toughest stuff is at the top. Bola del Mundo is, until that last 3km, just the same Puerto de Navacerrada that has been in use for decades. Contador grew up climbing that. It's a risk to make the attack before then, especially for somebody like Purito who needs the steep gradients to make some separation. For the epic duel tag it got given, Mosquera only attacked Nibali at the Puerto de Navacerrada and it was only that last few, steep kilometres where the duel took place. Sure, Mosquera had much less time to make up than Purito did, and for that reason you could argue Purito had nothing to lose and should have gone for it earlier, but when all the difficulty is in the final few kilometres we should never be surprised when the riders leave it to that. Especially as unlike Contador, Rodríguez isn't the kind of guy that can keep a gap with his TT skills when they go several climbs out, so he couldn't have gone from Cotos (counterargument: Menchov was in the break, could have waited for him. Counter-counterargument: while Menchov had the strength on the day, Katyusha's domestiques had been pulling the péloton for two weeks before the Saxo ambush so may not have been able to provide enough assistance to make it hard before then).
Rodríguez attacks plenty: within his range for attacks. He perhaps lacks the confidence to make attacks from greater distance on uphill or mountaintop finishes
. However, wins like Lombardia, or even more so his win into Orio in País Vasco 2010 when he crushed the field on the Alto de Aia twice, show that he's far from immune to going when there's still plenty of work to be done. If anything, Rodríguez' reputation is being hurt by some seriously crappy course design. If Unipublic will persist in designing routes with few climbs on the course until the end (so no opposition will be tired before the final climb) and putting these short to mid length climbs with super steep final 2-3km, then of course Rodríguez will continue to win races by sitting in until the final 2-3km and then attacking for the win. It's the best strategy for him. I just feel that too many courses of late have meant this strategy is easy enough for him to implement, so he has started to forget about other options.