2020...2021 Olympic Women's Road Race, Tokyo, 137 KM

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The Dutch lost the race:

  1. When they gave the break 10 mins, most of which they still had in hand at half distance.
  2. When Vleuty attacked solo and spent almost 20 km bringing back very little of Kiesenhofer's advantage, whilst neutralising her teammates.
After that, they'd lost because the winner only began to tie up badly in the last 2-3 kms.

I think the stuff about information is a red herring. The crucial mistakes had already happened.

I assume Vos spotted Kiesenhofer at that point on the circuit where the peloton were climbing up in parallel on the TV shot.
 
Well I am surely late to this discussion, but I was almost in tears watching Anna Keisenhofer win today.
The responsibility of giving of so much time to the break cannot solely lie with the Netherlands.
If the other nations wanted to chase they could have at any time
To my eyes, Keisenhofer was clearly completely on the limit of her powers at the end, and the way the gap was closing, looked as if she might even be caught in the last 3km or so.

She was the strongest rider, and won from a break, in a huge ride!
What could be more perfect!
Sorry for the late post (I just saw the recording of the race last night). Yes I agree, it was a wonderful victory. I'm happy Keisenhofer won the race. She seems like a breath of fresh air. But I didn't see the chasers ever catching her once she got to about 10 kilometers from the finish. The girls from Holland seemed to be running out of energy.
 
https://www.ad.nl/dossier-olympische-spelen-in-tokio/reconstructie-vanaf-de-klim-hoort-van-vleuten-niets-meer-van-de-bondscoach~aba9e98d/?

Reconstruction
They started with the strongest team imaginable, but the Dutch cyclists did not get any further than a silver medal. Reconstruction of a match full of confusion, miscommunication and questionable tactical choices.
The four of them ride side by side. Four times orange, perhaps the four best riders in the world. They still have their cooling vests on and paddle quietly behind the jury's car. The official start is still miles away, nobody seems to dare to cycle past them. When leaving Tokyo, the head of the jury waves his flag: the competition is on its way. Five riders attack. Plichta, Oberholzer, Shapira, Looser and the Austrian Anna Kiesenhofer.

Nobody responds.

right row
They went through the entire list of participants for the Dutch team on Friday evening. Who is dangerous, who is not? In the left row the names that were not allowed to get space, in the right row the riders who would have them ride. Kiesenhofer: right row. Only Marianne Vos knows her ('by name'), Annemiek van Vleuten calls her a 'nobody' and Anna van der Breggen says she has never raced against her. That is not entirely correct: Kiesenhofer was 44th at the World Cup won by Van der Breggen last year. Two years ago, she was even fifth at the European Time Trial Championships. But her name does not ring a bell in the team manager's car in which national coach Loes Gunnewijk is seated. Maybe it's because Kiesenhofer no longer rides for a professional team. She is mathematician; cycling is an unpaid hobby. Her trainer is herself.

walking pace
The leading group gets the minutes as if they were saving points at the pump around the corner. The peloton maintains a walking pace; the lead increases to eleven minutes. The Dutch quartet does nothing. That has been agreed in advance: they will only make the course hard on the last, steepest kilometers of Doushi Road, halfway through the course. Van der Breggen: ,,We didn't want to ride on the flat, then the rest could follow too easily."

On the climb, Van der Breggen still drives next to Gunnewijk's car, but even then the danger of the leading group is not yet seen. The favorites ripple on for miles. When Van Vleuten falls moments later and returns to the peloton, she also passes Gunnewijk. It's just before the trickiest miles of Doushi Road. Gunnewijk shouts to Van Vleuten: ,,And now set the course, huh?" It is the last that Van Vleuten hears from the national coach. Ears are not allowed in the Olympic road race.

Annemiek van Vleuten
The course explodes at the point at which the Dutch women had agreed. Demi Vollering and Anna van der Breggen attack several times, but the most blistering acceleration is that of Van Vleuten. She drives away alone and takes three quarters of a minute on the other favorites in no time. The lead of the leading group has been halved. But once at the top, Kiesenhofer & co's margin decreases more and more slowly. Van Vleuten is unsure what to do. Just drive through or wait? She asks the cameraman on the motorcycle about the differences. Van Vleuten: ,,When I heard that I was still five minutes behind, I was shocked."

Kiesenhofer, who does not believe in the victory himself ("Not even after the finish"), releases her fellow refugees with forty kilometers to go. Behind it, Van Vleuten is again caught by the peloton. Marianne Vos drives next to her and asks Van Vleuten: "What is the situation in the race?" Van Vleuten shrugs. That's exactly what she wanted to ask Vos. The Dutch quartet decide to take the lead with the three of them to bring Vos and her fast legs back to the head of the race.

At just under twenty-five kilometers from the finish, the riders cross the finish line for the first time on the Fuji Speedway car circuit. By agreement, the team's physio would be ready in the pit lane with a whiteboard showing the race situation. But the whiteboard remains blank. Gunnewijk was only able to reach the physio so late that she was unable to write anything on it. The riders still have no idea. Van der Breggen: ,,We took back the women and thought we would ride for the win. You actually have to count how many riders you overtake. I tried to count and thought we got everyone back. I saw 1'35 on the sign (from the motard in the race, ed.) and thought: we can still achieve this. But it turned out to be the difference between Kiesenhofer and the pursuers. We didn't know that the Austrian was still in the lead alone. We received the information that the Polish was the last to drive ahead.” When asked who she had that information from, she says: “Loes.”

Confusion
In the last kilometers both Van der Breggen and Van Vleuten attack. The latter drives away alone. After a fall, a solo and routine work for a teammate, she still extracts some energy from somewhere. She slams to the finish with a shrug; the last meters she squeezes out a sprint. Then she comes up. She raises her hands in the air and clenches her fists. She is an Olympic champion, she thinks.

National coach Gunnewijk does not want to explain much afterwards. ,,We can now talk about this or that, but Kiesenhofer was just too strong.'' Immediately after the race, the four riders do not point fingers. They are still too confused about what happened in the race.
------------------------------------------------------------

My thoughts on this:
  1. They were very lazy and very stubborn in their tactics towards the first climb. It's OK not to ride, but it's not OK to allow an 11-minute gap, and it's not OK to try to solve that 11-minute gap by attacking solo. That alone should be enough to fire the coach.
  2. The whiteboard story is so so amateurish. We're in the age of internet. The physio could (next to Whatsapp , sattelite phone or pigeon mail) even have checked this very forum topic and see what I wrote half an hour before they arrived at the pit lane ("Kiesenhofer is gone if they don't chase"). Just write something on that whiteboard (like: "G1 at 4 minutes, G2 at 1'35") or put a note on the bidon, with or without the coach being able to phone you (and the fact they had nobody in the whole world being able to contact someone along the circuit is ridiculous). I wonder if the physio had TV (or if anyone of the Dutch in the pitlane knew what was happening in the race), anyone could see that they were clueless in the race and needed some info.
  3. I'll leave this one in the middle, but it seems they either couldn't understand what was on the sign (saying 1'35") because it has been long before they ever saw a similar sign in a race, or the sign was wrong (in that case I understand their confusion totally).
 
https://www.ad.nl/dossier-olympische-spelen-in-tokio/reconstructie-vanaf-de-klim-hoort-van-vleuten-niets-meer-van-de-bondscoach~aba9e98d/?

Reconstruction
They started with the strongest team imaginable, but the Dutch cyclists did not get any further than a silver medal. Reconstruction of a match full of confusion, miscommunication and questionable tactical choices.
The four of them ride side by side. Four times orange, perhaps the four best riders in the world. They still have their cooling vests on and paddle quietly behind the jury's car. The official start is still miles away, nobody seems to dare to cycle past them. When leaving Tokyo, the head of the jury waves his flag: the competition is on its way. Five riders attack. Plichta, Oberholzer, Shapira, Looser and the Austrian Anna Kiesenhofer.

Nobody responds.

right row
They went through the entire list of participants for the Dutch team on Friday evening. Who is dangerous, who is not? In the left row the names that were not allowed to get space, in the right row the riders who would have them ride. Kiesenhofer: right row. Only Marianne Vos knows her ('by name'), Annemiek van Vleuten calls her a 'nobody' and Anna van der Breggen says she has never raced against her. That is not entirely correct: Kiesenhofer was 44th at the World Cup won by Van der Breggen last year. Two years ago, she was even fifth at the European Time Trial Championships. But her name does not ring a bell in the team manager's car in which national coach Loes Gunnewijk is seated. Maybe it's because Kiesenhofer no longer rides for a professional team. She is mathematician; cycling is an unpaid hobby. Her trainer is herself.

walking pace
The leading group gets the minutes as if they were saving points at the pump around the corner. The peloton maintains a walking pace; the lead increases to eleven minutes. The Dutch quartet does nothing. That has been agreed in advance: they will only make the course hard on the last, steepest kilometers of Doushi Road, halfway through the course. Van der Breggen: ,,We didn't want to ride on the flat, then the rest could follow too easily."

On the climb, Van der Breggen still drives next to Gunnewijk's car, but even then the danger of the leading group is not yet seen. The favorites ripple on for miles. When Van Vleuten falls moments later and returns to the peloton, she also passes Gunnewijk. It's just before the trickiest miles of Doushi Road. Gunnewijk shouts to Van Vleuten: ,,And now set the course, huh?" It is the last that Van Vleuten hears from the national coach. Ears are not allowed in the Olympic road race.

Annemiek van Vleuten
The course explodes at the point at which the Dutch women had agreed. Demi Vollering and Anna van der Breggen attack several times, but the most blistering acceleration is that of Van Vleuten. She drives away alone and takes three quarters of a minute on the other favorites in no time. The lead of the leading group has been halved. But once at the top, Kiesenhofer & co's margin decreases more and more slowly. Van Vleuten is unsure what to do. Just drive through or wait? She asks the cameraman on the motorcycle about the differences. Van Vleuten: ,,When I heard that I was still five minutes behind, I was shocked."

Kiesenhofer, who does not believe in the victory himself ("Not even after the finish"), releases her fellow refugees with forty kilometers to go. Behind it, Van Vleuten is again caught by the peloton. Marianne Vos drives next to her and asks Van Vleuten: "What is the situation in the race?" Van Vleuten shrugs. That's exactly what she wanted to ask Vos. The Dutch quartet decide to take the lead with the three of them to bring Vos and her fast legs back to the head of the race.

At just under twenty-five kilometers from the finish, the riders cross the finish line for the first time on the Fuji Speedway car circuit. By agreement, the team's physio would be ready in the pit lane with a whiteboard showing the race situation. But the whiteboard remains blank. Gunnewijk was only able to reach the physio so late that she was unable to write anything on it. The riders still have no idea. Van der Breggen: ,,We took back the women and thought we would ride for the win. You actually have to count how many riders you overtake. I tried to count and thought we got everyone back. I saw 1'35 on the sign (from the motard in the race, ed.) and thought: we can still achieve this. But it turned out to be the difference between Kiesenhofer and the pursuers. We didn't know that the Austrian was still in the lead alone. We received the information that the Polish was the last to drive ahead.” When asked who she had that information from, she says: “Loes.”

Confusion
In the last kilometers both Van der Breggen and Van Vleuten attack. The latter drives away alone. After a fall, a solo and routine work for a teammate, she still extracts some energy from somewhere. She slams to the finish with a shrug; the last meters she squeezes out a sprint. Then she comes up. She raises her hands in the air and clenches her fists. She is an Olympic champion, she thinks.

National coach Gunnewijk does not want to explain much afterwards. ,,We can now talk about this or that, but Kiesenhofer was just too strong.'' Immediately after the race, the four riders do not point fingers. They are still too confused about what happened in the race.
------------------------------------------------------------

My thoughts on this:
  1. They were very lazy and very stubborn in their tactics towards the first climb. It's OK not to ride, but it's not OK to allow an 11-minute gap, and it's not OK to try to solve that 11-minute gap by attacking solo. That alone should be enough to fire the coach.
  2. The whiteboard story is so so amateurish. We're in the age of internet. The physio could (next to Whatsapp , sattelite phone or pigeon mail) even have checked this very forum topic and see what I wrote half an hour before they arrived at the pit lane ("Kiesenhofer is gone if they don't chase"). Just write something on that whiteboard (like: "G1 at 4 minutes, G2 at 1'35") or put a note on the bidon, with or without the coach being able to phone you (and the fact they had nobody in the whole world being able to contact someone along the circuit is ridiculous). I wonder if the physio had TV (or if anyone of the Dutch in the pitlane knew what was happening in the race), anyone could see that they were clueless in the race and needed some info.
  3. I'll leave this one in the middle, but it seems they either couldn't understand what was on the sign (saying 1'35") because it has been long before they ever saw a similar sign in a race, or the sign was wrong (in that case I understand their confusion totally).
Thank you for that information, makes things much clearer.
It looks even more ridiculous now. What if the gap had gone up to 20 minutes, did they even have a plan for that? Or would they still have said "nobody dangerous in there, we won't ride before that certain climb because the others will just follow"?
If you know there's not going to be a radio you have to make sure you get some infos in between, send someone back to the car if necessary because you don't know how much the group is in front. Shocked to hear she was still five minutes back? So they just assumed they would easily take back minutes on the break because those are lesser riders? That's really pure arrogance.
And then, when they see that nobody has a clue about the situation, they just decide to wait and do nothing about the break for a while?

All in all it seems to come down to two things: Amazing lack of plans, amazing arrogance towards not-top riders.
 
Exactly.
The moment AVV got informed by the TV motorbike that the difference was 5 minutes to the front, she was surprised.
But what was she thinking? That her attack magically would have shaved off 2-3 minutes from that difference? Attacking on the first climb was the most clueless and senseless act of racing, as it was ordered by the team car, at the moment when they knew the situation.

Everything after, I understand that the riders were confused (but still, the Dutch were passive in their riding, and they still faced the consequences of 'sleeping and not counting' when the breakaway went at the start) but I still cannot get over the amateuristic approach (not to be confused with the professional amateuristic approach by Kiesenhofer :)) with regards to the communication from the pitlane or whatever.
 
Olympics is the Olympics and goofy results happen. But this is a good example why race radios are needed in real races. It's pretty dumb when an event is decided by lack of information and its a deterrent to sponsors when you add too much randomness.
Not sure it's fair to say the race was "decided" by lack of radios. Go back to km 50 or so and watch AvV try and totally fail to make any in-roads on the winner. Here, we have one the sport's premier women racers unable to get close to bridging. That speaks volumes for Kiesenhofer's fitness and mental toughness.
 
Jan 26, 2014
14
3
8,535
https://www.ad.nl/dossier-olympische-spelen-in-tokio/reconstructie-vanaf-de-klim-hoort-van-vleuten-niets-meer-van-de-bondscoach~aba9e98d/?

Reconstruction
They started with the strongest team imaginable, but the Dutch cyclists did not get any further than a silver medal. Reconstruction of a match full of confusion, miscommunication and questionable tactical choices.
The four of them ride side by side. Four times orange, perhaps the four best riders in the world. They still have their cooling vests on and paddle quietly behind the jury's car. The official start is still miles away, nobody seems to dare to cycle past them. When leaving Tokyo, the head of the jury waves his flag: the competition is on its way. Five riders attack. Plichta, Oberholzer, Shapira, Looser and the Austrian Anna Kiesenhofer.

Nobody responds.

right row
They went through the entire list of participants for the Dutch team on Friday evening. Who is dangerous, who is not? In the left row the names that were not allowed to get space, in the right row the riders who would have them ride. Kiesenhofer: right row. Only Marianne Vos knows her ('by name'), Annemiek van Vleuten calls her a 'nobody' and Anna van der Breggen says she has never raced against her. That is not entirely correct: Kiesenhofer was 44th at the World Cup won by Van der Breggen last year. Two years ago, she was even fifth at the European Time Trial Championships. But her name does not ring a bell in the team manager's car in which national coach Loes Gunnewijk is seated. Maybe it's because Kiesenhofer no longer rides for a professional team. She is mathematician; cycling is an unpaid hobby. Her trainer is herself.

walking pace
The leading group gets the minutes as if they were saving points at the pump around the corner. The peloton maintains a walking pace; the lead increases to eleven minutes. The Dutch quartet does nothing. That has been agreed in advance: they will only make the course hard on the last, steepest kilometers of Doushi Road, halfway through the course. Van der Breggen: ,,We didn't want to ride on the flat, then the rest could follow too easily."

On the climb, Van der Breggen still drives next to Gunnewijk's car, but even then the danger of the leading group is not yet seen. The favorites ripple on for miles. When Van Vleuten falls moments later and returns to the peloton, she also passes Gunnewijk. It's just before the trickiest miles of Doushi Road. Gunnewijk shouts to Van Vleuten: ,,And now set the course, huh?" It is the last that Van Vleuten hears from the national coach. Ears are not allowed in the Olympic road race.

Annemiek van Vleuten
The course explodes at the point at which the Dutch women had agreed. Demi Vollering and Anna van der Breggen attack several times, but the most blistering acceleration is that of Van Vleuten. She drives away alone and takes three quarters of a minute on the other favorites in no time. The lead of the leading group has been halved. But once at the top, Kiesenhofer & co's margin decreases more and more slowly. Van Vleuten is unsure what to do. Just drive through or wait? She asks the cameraman on the motorcycle about the differences. Van Vleuten: ,,When I heard that I was still five minutes behind, I was shocked."

Kiesenhofer, who does not believe in the victory himself ("Not even after the finish"), releases her fellow refugees with forty kilometers to go. Behind it, Van Vleuten is again caught by the peloton. Marianne Vos drives next to her and asks Van Vleuten: "What is the situation in the race?" Van Vleuten shrugs. That's exactly what she wanted to ask Vos. The Dutch quartet decide to take the lead with the three of them to bring Vos and her fast legs back to the head of the race.

At just under twenty-five kilometers from the finish, the riders cross the finish line for the first time on the Fuji Speedway car circuit. By agreement, the team's physio would be ready in the pit lane with a whiteboard showing the race situation. But the whiteboard remains blank. Gunnewijk was only able to reach the physio so late that she was unable to write anything on it. The riders still have no idea. Van der Breggen: ,,We took back the women and thought we would ride for the win. You actually have to count how many riders you overtake. I tried to count and thought we got everyone back. I saw 1'35 on the sign (from the motard in the race, ed.) and thought: we can still achieve this. But it turned out to be the difference between Kiesenhofer and the pursuers. We didn't know that the Austrian was still in the lead alone. We received the information that the Polish was the last to drive ahead.” When asked who she had that information from, she says: “Loes.”

Confusion
In the last kilometers both Van der Breggen and Van Vleuten attack. The latter drives away alone. After a fall, a solo and routine work for a teammate, she still extracts some energy from somewhere. She slams to the finish with a shrug; the last meters she squeezes out a sprint. Then she comes up. She raises her hands in the air and clenches her fists. She is an Olympic champion, she thinks.

National coach Gunnewijk does not want to explain much afterwards. ,,We can now talk about this or that, but Kiesenhofer was just too strong.'' Immediately after the race, the four riders do not point fingers. They are still too confused about what happened in the race.
------------------------------------------------------------

My thoughts on this:
  1. They were very lazy and very stubborn in their tactics towards the first climb. It's OK not to ride, but it's not OK to allow an 11-minute gap, and it's not OK to try to solve that 11-minute gap by attacking solo. That alone should be enough to fire the coach.
  2. The whiteboard story is so so amateurish. We're in the age of internet. The physio could (next to Whatsapp , sattelite phone or pigeon mail) even have checked this very forum topic and see what I wrote half an hour before they arrived at the pit lane ("Kiesenhofer is gone if they don't chase"). Just write something on that whiteboard (like: "G1 at 4 minutes, G2 at 1'35") or put a note on the bidon, with or without the coach being able to phone you (and the fact they had nobody in the whole world being able to contact someone along the circuit is ridiculous). I wonder if the physio had TV (or if anyone of the Dutch in the pitlane knew what was happening in the race), anyone could see that they were clueless in the race and needed some info.
  3. I'll leave this one in the middle, but it seems they either couldn't understand what was on the sign (saying 1'35") because it has been long before they ever saw a similar sign in a race, or the sign was wrong (in that case I understand their confusion totally).
Nailed it with that post! 11 minute lead with heat, hills and lack of teams chasing (including USA) led to the mix up. They all knew the gap was 11 minutes correct? Not sure either team had designated riders to go to the front, sacrifice their individual results and close the gap, like the pro tour races? I bet there is less chance in the future of teams allowing such a time gap!
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Nailed it with that post! 11 minute lead with heat, hills and lack of teams chasing (including USA) led to the mix up. They all knew the gap was 11 minutes correct? Not sure either team had designated riders to go to the front, sacrifice their individual results and close the gap, like the pro tour races? I bet there is less chance in the future of teams allowing such a time gap!
In the reports I read Germany did use their riders to chase, but I didn't see that part. Later I saw Lippert working (for Brennauer), but that was more towards the end.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
10 minutes wasn't necessarily too much in itself, but it was obviously always a bit of a gamble. if Van Vleuten hadn't had a mechanical or whatever it was and then the crash right after she had made it back to the peloton (it seemed she should have been able to avoid the crash at least), the Dutch probably would have won, because they could have started attacking slightly earlier, plus Van Vleuten herself would have been feeling better.

But it would obviously have been a better and safer tactic to have upped the pace from the beginning of the climb in order to reduce the gap before they launched any attacks. That way they would probably have won, too, cause they were always going to have at least two riders left to contest the final, whereas no other team could have been sure about having more than one rider there. But if they didn't know the correct gaps, then it was always going to be harder to bring Kiesenhofer back no matter which tactic they were relying on. And Kiesenhofer definitely didn't make it easyer for them either.

I can definitely understand Van Vleuten's feelings though, because she knew she was the strongest rider in the race, and no matter who's to blame for it, of course you're going to be angry and sad initially. Especially if you actually thought you had won at first.
The comments that made it seem like only the best riders were entitled to ride for the win in the big races, weren't very tactful though.

Anyway I'm sure they will be making changes to how they approach championship races in the future. In WC races it will be a lot easier for them, when they have more potential work horses in the squad. Now I'm not sure how the extra spots will be divided among the countries for the 2024 Olympics, but the Dutch might have a fith rider to make it easier for them to control the race there.
 
I can definitely understand Van Vleuten's feelings though, because she knew she was the strongest rider in the race, and no matter who's to blame for it, of course you're going to be angry and sad initially.
I see your point, but given AVV's inability to cut into Kiesenhofer's advantage on that long attack, I think Kiesenhofer was the strongest in the race. She was out front the entire course and alone for the last 40km. If that doesn't mean she is the strongest, I don't know what does.
 
That's cycling, there are no guaranteed results. I can understand some of the top women who are up there in every big race being disappointed, but anyone who sees this as unfair or a fluke is a massive loser. We're not talking about immature juniors here.
Of course it is a fluke result - To say otherwise is divorced from reality - And there will be more fluke results in the future - This is the nature of sport.
 
Jul 4, 2021
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Van der Breggen said they weren't given consistent time splits. There was one point where the péloton were apparently being told the gap was 1'30, then a few seconds later it was 4'30.
This quote might explain the confusion, fuelled by confirmation bias.

Apparently, they were given two time splits, both to the chasers and to the leading Kiesenhofer.

However, they apparently misinterpreted this as "inconsistent information", blaming the organizers, because they had the picture of one leading group in their heads.

The correct interpretation would have been two groups, two times.
 
I'm not saying they were wrong, cause they got a great result out of it, but they did have a chance to ride against the Dutch, and they didn't even try.




They had a trial race where Kiesenhofer won by a big margin.

Hahaha, what? Who? Seems i missed something today.

Congratulations Anna Kiesenhofer!
I've not been on here all weekend since the race. But what struck me was the lack of Congratulations from the pro's / faves towards Kiesenhofer. Thought that was a bit poor tbh.
I was stunned by that. I one point (after Cille came to chat with her) they showed the entire Dutch team standing not more than 3-4 meters away from Anna K. with their backs to her and completely ignoring her.
Sure the Dutch were dumbfounded and upset, but think about the dumbfounded and exhausted Roglic picking himself off the pavement at Planche des Belles Filles to go congratulate Podgacar on his win.
 
We need to understand that most of the cyclists in the RR have committed years of sweat and hurt to achieve an Olympic Medal - Of course it hurts when an 'amateur' flukes a victory with a limited preparation.
Where does it say she had “limited preparation”. She certainly had limited racing, but if you look at her self-analysis of body temp variations as she was preparing for Tokyo, I’d suggest you’re using a limited definition of preparation. Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant?
 
Of course other teams wanted and counted on the Netherlands to chase or was of the opinion that they were the ones supposed to bring the gap down. That was their chance on winning with tiring some of the Dutch team. If they help they lose, because then it would have probably been an empty goal to score in for the Dutch.

Sometimes you gotta be willing to lose to win, if it makes sense.

And if the Dutch sacrifice a couple of their riders and brought the gap down earlier. AVV probably wins this, no problem. So who lost the most and had anything to lose? The Dutch.

The others should feel no responsibility or remorse for not helping. That was their chance on winning. Making the Dutch spend energy. Mind you, AVV would have probably won anyway. But the chances for someone else at least becomes higher in the peloton by making them do the work. Now the Dutch just refused until it was too late, so congrats to the winner!
Well put.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
I was stunned by that. I one point (after Cille came to chat with her) they showed the entire Dutch team standing not more than 3-4 meters away from Anna K. with their backs to her and completely ignoring her.
Sure the Dutch were dumbfounded and upset, but think about the dumbfounded and exhausted Roglic picking himself off the pavement at Planche des Belles Filles to go congratulate Podgacar on his win.
Didn't that rider who won already say that Van Vleuten was gracious to her? I think it's pretty normal that real cyclists would talk to her less than if another pro won it. The pro cyclists race, train and see each other throughout the year. So they know each other from varying degrees of a little to a lot. They might not know this rider that won at all so she's basically just some random stranger who happened to win a race. When I go to my local market, I talk the vendors and people I know but rarely talk to random ones I don't.
 
Didn't that rider who won already say that Van Vleuten was gracious to her? I think it's pretty normal that real cyclists would talk to her less than if another pro won it. The pro cyclists race, train and see each other throughout the year. So they know each other from varying degrees of a little to a lot. They might not know this rider that won at all so she's basically just some random stranger who happened to win a race. When I go to my local market, I talk the vendors and people I know but rarely talk to random ones I don't.
Lol, what a comparison.
 
Reactions: Andre and Sandisfan
I was stunned by that. I one point (after Cille came to chat with her) they showed the entire Dutch team standing not more than 3-4 meters away from Anna K. with their backs to her and completely ignoring her.
Sure the Dutch were dumbfounded and upset, but think about the dumbfounded and exhausted Roglic picking himself off the pavement at Planche des Belles Filles to go congratulate Podgacar on his win.
You have no idea what happened before or after those few seconds of tv coverage. I am pretty sure they did not have a camera trained on Kiesenhofer with instructions to the director to cut to that shot on every occasion that someone else interacted with her. I didn't see any non-Dutch rider commiserate with Van Vleuten on what must have been a devastating disappointment for her to discover that she hadn't won, but I bet it happened; I didn't see any other rider congratulate Pidcock or express sympathy to Cink or Van der Poel this morning, but I don't doubt for an instance that many did.

I am really unsure why so few people here are willing to assume that the bulk of riders failed to act decently just because it wasn't captured on live tv. Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack.
 
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Didn't that rider who won already say that Van Vleuten was gracious to her? I think it's pretty normal that real cyclists would talk to her less than if another pro won it. The pro cyclists race, train and see each other throughout the year. So they know each other from varying degrees of a little to a lot. They might not know this rider that won at all so she's basically just some random stranger who happened to win a race. When I go to my local market, I talk the vendors and people I know but rarely talk to random ones I don't.
To be fair, the interview that Annemiek did in the heat of the moment (and the one that Anna VDB did too) were anything but gracious. Now, it is also fair to note that Anna K points out that she was unaware of the confusion, because in the heat of the moment she was likely too busy sprawled out on the tarmac in a combination of fatigue and disbelief to register that, and when she was able to get up and about, everybody else was realising what went on and holding their post-mortems, so most likely there were riders other than Uttrup who went and congratulated her after the point at which we saw Cille do so. Lots of riders will have had their own media commitments - we know that Deignan was interviewed by the British press before she had found out what happened because she congratulated Annemiek on the victory during her interview, so she would clearly not have had opportunity to go and congratulate Kiesenhofer at that point. By the time it came to awarding medals etc., it would appear van Vleuten was a bit more reconciled to the situation and was clearly gracious and respectful enough with Anna in person.

The Dutch post-mortem will likely continue for some time. Tactical inflexibility, the inability and unwillingness to use either of their TT weapons in the chase, and the conflicting opinions and statements coming out of the team point to a camp in disarray. We've seen the Dutch mess up what should be sure things before (Baku springs to mind, when they had 2 in a group of 4, van der Breggen attacked dropping van Dijk, then she led out the whole final kilometre culminating in the Dutch getting 3rd and 4th), but this was perhaps the biggest implosion of them all, because of the extent of dominance expected, especially with the qualification criteria meaning a few of the major contenders like Cille and Lizzie being left without teammates early on, with Norsgaard and Shackley climbing off. The messages coming out might have been free of finger-pointing, but they've definitely been full of deflection. The "how can I underestimate a rider I don't know?" comment of van der Breggen smacks of hand-wringing, and blaming others for faulty scouting reports. Vos purporting to know about Kiesenhofer being up the road when van der Breggen and van Vleuten clearly weren't aware of it suggests a communication breakdown as even if Vos only realised what the situation was when she caught a glimpse of Anna K in the last few kilometres on the speedway, she was in the same small group as van der Breggen and could have communicated that either in the last few kilometres or at least just after the finish to stop van der Breggen from putting her foot in it in the post-race interview.

I just wonder if there was a bit of, this is the last Olympics for van der Breggen and she's the defending champion. It's probably the last Olympics for van Vleuten, and she has unfinished business after her crash in Rio. Vos will be 37 when the next Olympics come around so might see this as her final Olympics, at least final one as likely leader with Paris likely to be much flatter and the likes of Wiebes and Vollering likely to be in peak years at that point. Loes Gunnewijk is also a former teammate of Vos and van Vleuten so that loyalty may be a factor as well. It seemed like the team was too scared of being perceived to be slighting one of the veterans and making the wrong call, so in not committing to any one rider to avoid offending the others, they managed to sabotage all four, letting all of them call their own shots and leaving Vollering the only even moderately expendable rider, and even then that feels like it's more because hey, she'll get more chances in the future than because it would be the right call since she isn't a time trialist and it's a very sub-optimal way to use her skills. And Demi doesn't really engage with social media and doesn't have the general media profile of the other three so has mainly maintained a dignified silence thus far, would certainly pay a penny for her thoughts at this point in time.
 

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