Astana's tactics

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Sep 2, 2010
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Sadly people sports isn't simply a black vs white thing any more. It's not all just about the competition. There are often other factors involved.
 
I think that some are overestimating Landa. He has nice kick and he was gaining rapidly at first, but later not so much and during last couple of kilometers of Finestre, he actually lost to Hesjedal, Uran, Aru group.
He probably lost a stage, but not Giro.
 
May 20, 2014
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Asked it race thread as well, but reading all this criticism about Astana team tactics..Yet I'm not really sure how they could have played it much better to put enough time on Alberto. They needed Kangert to bridge on the decent so that he could pace on that false flat, he tryed but couldn't do it, and dropped back to Contador. So Landa dropped back instead for pacing. But neither Aru nor Landa is great TT'ist and nobody else was working with them, so they couldn't get much time on Alberto. So what else should or could they have done there to put 5 minutes on Contador?

I read now that in hindsight, they are blamed for not putting their baskets on Landa since if he had been a leader from start, maybe he could have had a shot against Contador. But that is hindsight. Aru was their captain and expected to be their strongest rider. And when they did start to play it around, it become Landa who Contador marked yesterday. Just that individually after every stage, their tactics more or less made sense knowing what you knew then. Only when you look it back now knowing that Aru takes a week off, it looks stupid that they buried their strongest rider supporting Aru and holding himself back. But they aint psychics.
 
Mar 13, 2015
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Re: Re:

whittashau said:
hrotha said:
Billie said:
They got the stage win and 2 and 3 in GC so I don't see what was wrong with their tactics.
You don't see- How about the part where they could have won the Giro if they had actually raced for that goal?
We're not talking tactics. We're talking about a choice between them backing their "future" in his home tour, or backing a guy who is leaving.

If winning the Giro at all costs was their priority I'm sure they would have switched tactics, but I really think their main priority was simply was for them to get Aru as much limelight as possible
Yeah, they did a good job here, their favorite Aru must be very proud, 2 stages + 2nd overall, and all that thanks to stopping their top guy (Landa) from riding on his own. Real masterpiece
 
May 22, 2010
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Just which tactics are people talking about?!? Astana switching to Landa 10 stages ago is just silly.

I think Greg LeMond was talking about the point at about 28km to go--and through to the base of the descent, I assume, but I haven't seen that bit--when Aru had 40+ sec over Contador, and Landa had 1:20 but couldn't drop Zakarin. Astana should have called Landa back to Aru at that point, about 20km before they eventually did anyway. If they had, and depending on riders from other teams, they could have put much more pressure on Contador.
 
Re: Re:

hrotha said:
Billie said:
They got the stage win and 2 and 3 in GC so I don't see what was wrong with their tactics.
You don't see- How about the part where they could have won the Giro if they had actually raced for that goal?
I agree partially with you. But I cannot blame Astana 100%, similar to Sky in Vuelta 2011, when you have a new comer out of nowhere climbing like a goat. You just don't know if that rider will have the consistency and capacity to hold it for 3 weeks. So usually teams hesitate a little and screw up and go or put all the eggs in the known commodity. In this case for Aru, who was Italian, so it made the decision easier.

As for today I don't think they believed that Contador was going to crack so it kind of surprised them a little. Besides the time gap between Contador and the 2 Astanas was too much and they didn't believe that they were going to cut it. So today was actually Ok. The main mistake was not changing the leader of the team earlier in the race.

Even if they had done that, there was no warranty that they were going to win. Mechanics of the race would have changed for sure.
 
Mar 13, 2015
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Today was not Ok! You don't pull the strongest rider in the race, who is in the lead 40 seconds and 1.30 on the race leader, BACK. And for the rider who is weaker than him, just to secure 2nd overall for him cause he is Italian for god's sake! Yeah, they got the stage win, but they would got it with Landa also. Injustice of the highest caliber to Landa. He should leave the team as soon as he can
 
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Mr.White said:
Today was not Ok! You don't pull the strongest rider in the race, who is in the lead 40 seconds and 1.30 on the race leader, BACK. And for the rider who is weaker than him, just to secure 2nd overall for him cause he is Italian for god's sake! Yeah, they got the stage win, but they would got it with Landa also. Injustice of the highest caliber to Landa. He should leave the team as soon as he can
You are right. We know that after the fact. I would have pulled Landa before. Surely they both would have taken more time on Contador (just because of the nature of the last climb) than Landa pulling alone and Aru pulling alone as well. They tried to get Kangert to help Aru but he couldn't bridge the gap. It would have been funny to see the two Astanas pulling separately and failing both. Not sure that would have been the right move. Again, Astana was not expecting Contador to crack and caught them off guard a little bit.

I am really not seeing what a lot of people are seeing that Landa would have blown the whole race to pieces had he remained alone because,

1- The last climb was not as suited to him as the steeper ones
2- He did not looked as strong to me in the last climb as everybody saw, and also looked annoyed that Zakarin was not helping. Strangely enough he had the right of not helping him at that moment. He was pulling an “Evans”. If he was that strong he could have just motored up the road.
3- By looking closely at the splits he did not looked that strong towards the end. He was not making more gap than the others in the next group.

So no I did not see what everybody saw. I just think that Astana lost the Giro in a similar fashion that Sky lost the Vuelta 2011 by not switching to a different leader early in the race. 5 minutes today was too much.
 
Escarabajo, I don't have a problem with Astana backing Aru ahead of Landa. I'd have done the same.

What I'm saying is they should have used Landa, as their 2nd card, to put pressure on Contador and tire him out for Aru to take advantage of. Like the day of Madonna di Campiglio, when they managed to isolate Contador and they decided to just domestique for him instead of sending Landa up the road. They didn't try to get people in the breaks to act as bridges either.

Simply put, they didn't try team tactics despite having the strongest team and despite their rival being mostly on his own.
 
Just let Landa continue to ride on and just ignorere Zakarin in the wheel. Let Aru sit on wheels, he might even be able to bridge in the last couple of K's when Hesjedal and Kruijswijk are tired.

Dumb to call back Landa. I think it's because they would rather want Aru to win the stage and get the second place. Maybe Landa won't sign an extension?
 
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staubsauger said:
Maybe it has pretty much to do with the loyalty Aru showed by prolonging his contract at Astana? Now Martinelli rewards his loyalty.

That would actual make sense and be legitimate!
Would you like to be in a team where the continuity in the WT is not sure, where people talk about and where some people put the results into question?

I am not. If you are in a team with more freedom to race and chose races and lidership would be better, so Astana must understand.

But this is more that reward his loyalty... anyway you have said what the question is: contract, Landa treat Contador and Aru as himself, this is Italia, Aru is italian, Martinelli, Vino good relation with contador, contador must win the Giro, nobody must put that into question.

So, good, becouse I read some BS about if Landa was tired...and when he started to pull again from Aru he put 40 seconds on Contador in just a few soft Kms...

I think that a team must always to try to win races the best way possible and dont consider any other issues...
i will be upset if is not that way, although I understand.

Landa could have done as Patani, Belli and Gotti did.. forget his team...the same as Amador did when he won in Gorla, forget the car (his director became crazy screamed Amador to stop), but he didnt, so it is impossible more loyalty...

Landa knew he cant win the Giro with his team in that way, so his war was psicological againts Contador.
 
Looking at today: Astana had Landa slow a bit and got 2nd and 3rd on GC. If Astana lets Landa ride today they get 2nd and 3rd on GC. The difference is that the home country boy got the stage and kept his 2nd place. That's smart!

I don't think that Landa would have stayed away form that group.
 
Re: Re:

Escarabajo said:
hrotha said:
Billie said:
They got the stage win and 2 and 3 in GC so I don't see what was wrong with their tactics.
You don't see- How about the part where they could have won the Giro if they had actually raced for that goal?
I agree partially with you. But I cannot blame Astana 100%, similar to Sky in Vuelta 2011, when you have a new comer out of nowhere climbing like a goat. You just don't know if that rider will have the consistency and capacity to hold it for 3 weeks. So usually teams hesitate a little and screw up and go or put all the eggs in the known commodity. In this case for Aru, who was Italian, so it made the decision easier.

As for today I don't think they believed that Contador was going to crack so it kind of surprised them a little. Besides the time gap between Contador and the 2 Astanas was too much and they didn't believe that they were going to cut it. So today was actually Ok. The main mistake was not changing the leader of the team earlier in the race.

Even if they had done that, there was no warranty that they were going to win. Mechanics of the race would have changed for sure.
Well, Wiggo was an star before that Vuelta, Aru just got a poidum in the Giro, far from Quintana.

Froome was a rider that did a very good first tour in his circusntances, and that showed some good performances before, and that had a very good numbers in the tests he did in Ginebra for the UCI team (as well as Teklehaimanot and Chitioui) and for SKY, but he has never won anything important, and his previous race, Poland was bad... But Landa was always a clear promising rider, from juniors to today, and this year he won a stage in his land and second in Trentino, so it is not the same situation- Aru has been never more promising that Landa... you can put Landa into question before Mortirolo, becouse in a GT Aru before was better, but after that day you must be all the team with him to win the Giro. That mean Aru attacking, so the option to win for Aru is there if he is strong.

Wiggins was working for Froome in Peña Cabarga and Bilbao.. too late, but he did.. what Aru did for Landa??

In the Tour, well, it was a very good parcous for Wiggo, but it was a situation both of them can win.. in this Giro just Landa has real option to win Contador.
 
They probably wasted at least a minute arguing with Uran about working for them. Two Astana riders plus Hesjedal all had something to work for. Once they saw Contador was in trouble they should have ridden together with Hesjedal who is always wiling to work, they could have even let him have the stage win he has deserved. Contador is alone, no one in front of him except an Astana rider, no one behind him close enough. Amador was no threat on GC, they had the perfect scenario. What were they thinking ? Not much at all probably. Even if Contador still won, they had to attack the race all out, they were risking nothing, their podiums were assured. it's odd that the tactics by the strongest team, Astana and Saxo who have been much weaker have been so poor and Saxo's team performance in supporting Contador has been dismal. Both teams have wasted so much energy bringing back breaks that were no threat on GC. The tactics have made no sense. Astana settled for a stage win when the big prize was right in front of them. Aru and Landa obviously had good legs and the rest of the group would have started working with them if there was a chance of a stage win. What was the point worrying about Uran ?
 
and I always praised Martinelli to be a good DS tactics wise......

but like some folks noticed- it was the Italian side of the equation that ruled Landa out, in order to "launch" Aru to a higher spot .... which still makes no fvck!ng sense either
 
Jul 7, 2009
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Re: Re:

Billie said:
hrotha said:
Billie said:
They got the stage win and 2 and 3 in GC so I don't see what was wrong with their tactics.
You don't see- How about the part where they could have won the Giro if they had actually raced for that goal?
They actually tried. Aru group was 40 seconds behind Landa so they were at about the same time in front of Contador in provisional GC. Was always smarter to work together like they did today then have both try for it apart.

Was impossible to take back those 5 minutes on contador on sestriere anyway.
Landa had over 50' on Aru group and 1,41' on Contador and Landa didn't even ride full gass on the flat before Sestriere. If Landa had ridden full gas all the way he might have won the Giro.
 
Aug 3, 2009
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Re:

hrotha said:
Escarabajo, I don't have a problem with Astana backing Aru ahead of Landa. I'd have done the same.

What I'm saying is they should have used Landa, as their 2nd card, to put pressure on Contador and tire him out for Aru to take advantage of. Like the day of Madonna di Campiglio, when they managed to isolate Contador and they decided to just domestique for him instead of sending Landa up the road. They didn't try to get people in the breaks to act as bridges either.

Simply put, they didn't try team tactics despite having the strongest team and despite their rival being mostly on his own.
Basically this. Though I suspect that Martinelli concluded after 10 racing days that they were racing for podium as Berti seemed untouchable, so his tactics kinda made sense. They got 2/3 and team classification on top of their stage wins.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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Re: Re:

Roude Leiw said:
hrotha said:
Escarabajo, I don't have a problem with Astana backing Aru ahead of Landa. I'd have done the same.

What I'm saying is they should have used Landa, as their 2nd card, to put pressure on Contador and tire him out for Aru to take advantage of. Like the day of Madonna di Campiglio, when they managed to isolate Contador and they decided to just domestique for him instead of sending Landa up the road. They didn't try to get people in the breaks to act as bridges either.

Simply put, they didn't try team tactics despite having the strongest team and despite their rival being mostly on his own.
Basically this. Though I suspect that Martinelli concluded after 10 racing days that they were racing for podium as Berti seemed untouchable, so his tactics kinda made sense. They got 2/3 and team classification on top of their stage wins.
Big mistake by Martinelli not to see that they had a good chance at winning the Giro overall (and the mountains jersey). Contador was i trouble, Landa had 1.41' advantage (50 seconds to Aru's group) after the Finestre descent. Landa didn't seem to ride full gas on the later part of the flat before Sestriere, waited on the ascent to Sestriere, argued with Zakarin (and with Martinelli probably) and still he finished 2.30 ahead of Contador!

Landa had a 30-40% chance of winning the Giro today and Martinelly and Astana wasted it.
 
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