Astana's tactics

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What I found really weird about the whole thing was the fact that the Astana car actually went past the Aru group and up to Landa right before Landa slowed down to wait for Aru. Seems a bit counterproductive to me to have to first ask permission to get up one rider, only to be held aside to wait for you were previously with.
Actually, at first; when we saw Landa speak to Zakarin and then shortly afterwards saw the car move up I briefly allowed myself to believe that maybe Landa hadn't said "I'm waiting for Aru." (there was no sound, after all) but rather "My car is coming up."
 
They were crap at Liege too, remember. Birdsong in a strong 3-man group 10 seconds up the road on cote de Saint Nicolas. Then Nibali decides to become Valverde's team mate and drag those ten seconds back with an attack which fails to drop anyone. Ruins Astana's chances. They need to be more flexible and not have only one person who is allowed to win.
 
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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.
I agree that they should have tried something earlier on Madonna. It was noticable from the CinqueTerre stage that Astana were the strongest team, but everyone expected Contador to be the strongest individually, so the question was how to break Contador, especially after his crash. When you don't succeed, it can depend on tactics, luck and/or not being able to pedal fast enough. Of all the teams in the Giro, Astana are the team you could argue suffered most from bad tactics (Kruiswijk and Hesjedal lost out in the first week, but was that a result of bad tactics or having weak teams which meant they were out of position? I can't say).

Let's look at the stages which were most meaningful for GC

On the weekend before the first rest day, on Saturday the two main climbs were too far apart for a tactical stage, so trying to set up an attack on a big MTF seemed the logical thing to do. Contador responded to the first attack, he was isolated against Landa and Aru, so they went to opposite sides of the road and Contador marks Aru. Obviously, Landa attacks and they go stage hunting. Possible tactical mistake: they started chasing too late, so missed out on a possible stage victory to Intxausti.

On Sunday, the parcours is up and down all day, so team tactics are going to be more important. Tiralongo gets into the early break. Astana go hard on the hard climbs in the middle of the stage and most of Saxo get dropped, Cataldo goes on the attack (though does not get much time). The race gets neutralised on the descent, virtually all the Saxo guys get back into the peloton and from there until the last steep climb, the climbs are pretty gentle, so they wait for the last climb, where Land and Aru attack but don't break Contador. Failure due to bad luck and not being able to pedal fast enough.

The Madonna stage could have been crucial. At the bottom of the last climb, Astana have 5 guys against Contador in the front group, but Rogers and Kreuziger are only 25 seconds behind. So driving it at the bottom to elimate Mick and Roman is logical. Certainly Astana could have attacked earlier, Cataldo would have been a good option as he was still high on GC, but had been dropped on the penultimate climb. Thus Landa would have been the obvious choice, but two things seemed to speak against this. 1) the Madonna starts off as a power climb, not ideal for Landa, 2) Aru was not feeling great that day, so possibly didn't want Landa to attack, but be in the mix at the end when it got steep. Result: Landa gets stage win since is slightly stronger than Contador, who in turn is stronger than Aru. Failure, possibly due to tactics, but also due to not being able to pedal fast enough. Aru is the closest to Contador, with Aru losing only a handful of seconds when weaker than Contador and a stage win seems a good return.

Mortirolo to come
 
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jmdirt 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?
If Landa is the Astana leader he gets second in the Giro.
i will not so sure when lqanda has attacked 3 times to contador, and frop him 2 of them and the only one that didnt was in a soft climb with 30 ruiders in the group, so imposible...

And in the fiorst days landa was working and he didnt lose much time...with Aru working would have been really different
 
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Taxus4a said:
The Hitch said:
Didn't see the stage, but from what I have read they decided to bring back Landa so that Aru could win the stage? Bet rigging maybe.
The exactly words were:

Mikel, stop, Aru can win the Giro, but in italian.
This made sense, as the situation was yesterday, Aru had a bigger chance than Landa once they were over the Finestre.

Whether Landa wasn't allowed to attack earlier on the Finestre is a different thing
 
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Mr.White said:
Seems to me that Martinelli's only concern was that Aru finishes ahead of Landa in GC
They would have chosen 3th Landa and Aru 5th than Aru 4th and Landa 5th, becouse a podium is important for the team, but anyway Aru ahead of Landa was very important and they worked for that with the help of Contador in Ologno and Cervinia.
 
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Red Rick said:
Taxus4a said:
The Hitch said:
Didn't see the stage, but from what I have read they decided to bring back Landa so that Aru could win the stage? Bet rigging maybe.
The exactly words were:

Mikel, stop, Aru can win the Giro, but in italian.
This made sense, as the situation was yesterday, Aru had a bigger chance than Landa once they were over the Finestre.

Whether Landa wasn't allowed to attack earlier on the Finestre is a different thing
To put Astana to a pace for 10 Km in Finestre and the same the previous day it is not a tactic to try to win the Giro, for that you have 2 riders close in GC and you hace to attack form far...

Contador, always, always, that someone strong has attacked in tha last part of a GT in a hard stage from far, always, has show weakeness, even in the past era. (but in the last era justo when he was young)

It was like that in his first Tour, Leipheimer save him from Evans in the Pirynees (I dont talk about Rassmusen)

It was the same when Andy in Izoard and Galibier.

it was somethink like that in Bola del mundo.

It was like that in this Giro

Except the second, he always managed to win...for different reasons, and becouse there is not so many people who can do that , maybe now yes, trere are more people, but in the Giro the only one was Landa and maybe Hesjedal, but both of them were not in the GC war.

But Astana didnt want that really, just to do his best with Aru.
 
Its important to realize that if Astana had switched to Landa, AC would have ridden a different race as well. You can't compare what Landa could have done to what AC did. You have to compare what Landa could have done to what AC could have done.

What if Astana changes to Landa and he blows? This thread would be about how stupid it was not to stick with Aru.
 
Jul 12, 2013
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Re: Re:

Wergeland said:
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.
Contador was struggling but not bonking completely so it was impossible for Landa to have taken back 5:05 min on that Contador.
That's why:
In Pourrieres, with 17km to go, the gap was 1:35.
Let's exaggerate a bit and assume Landa pulling in the false flat until 10 to go (for 7km) where he would have gained 8 seconds per km. The gap with 10 to go would have been 2:30.
In the last 10 km where Landa pulled, Aru gained 1:30 on Contador. (Landa would have gained a bit less assuming he would have went full gas in the flat part as well but let's put the same time gap for Landa as well). So with a good margin of exaggeration (on Landa's favour) Landa would have gained 4 min tops on Contador, leaving him 1:05 behind.

P.S. I don't want people to be blind anti-Contador fanboys in the same way as I don't like blind Contador fanboys.
 
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jmdirt said:
Its important to realize that if Astana had switched to Landa, AC would have ridden a different race as well. You can't compare what Landa could have done to what AC did. You have to compare what Landa could have done to what AC could have done.

What if Astana changes to Landa and he blows? This thread would be about how stupid it was not to stick with Aru.
+1

All different scenarios could have had different outcomes. We can say today what we would have done after the facts. But 1 week ago it was not clear.

I can tell you today that I would have send Landa on the attack after the TT as Hothra suggested. But at that moment Aru was not feeling good, therefore a DS would never send your domestique (who is far from proven) on the attack and in the process not only killing your leader but risking the probabilities that Landa would falter later and missing any opportunities that they had for GC. Seriously I see most if not all DS doing similar stuff.

Saturday was a matter of having an Italian second. If they believed that they had a chance to cut 5 minutes, it would have been with Aru, Landa and Kangert pulling together, but never with Landa and Aru pulling on their own. So why let Landa overtake Aru on GC in Italy.
 
Of course, but Landa has always droped Contador when he tried in a situation with the race split... so, if you are better and if you have a better team an another card to play, weaker, but strong anyway, as Aru, it doent matter how Contador acts. he can buy Krispis, take advantage of hesjedal, etc..but useless. 4 minutes with clinmbs as Mortirolo, finestre, are not too much.

it is not necessary to kno a lot of cycling to understand that.
 
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RedheadDane said:
What I found really weird about the whole thing was the fact that the Astana car actually went past the Aru group and up to Landa right before Landa slowed down to wait for Aru. Seems a bit counterproductive to me to have to first ask permission to get up one rider, only to be held aside to wait for you were previously with.
Actually, at first; when we saw Landa speak to Zakarin and then shortly afterwards saw the car move up I briefly allowed myself to believe that maybe Landa hadn't said "I'm waiting for Aru." (there was no sound, after all) but rather "My car is coming up."


I also noticed when Zakarin got dropped by the front group and went to his team car, he seemed to be OK and kind of acting like he did his job -as "asked"
 
Mortirolo: Astana's initial goal may well have been to get someone in the break. However, as Hesjedal said that Contador chased him down on the 1st climb, it's unsurprising that they did not succeed. Saxo's tactics were pretty logical, since it seemed clear that Bertie would be isolated after the Mortirolo. Hence, they didn't want anyone to have a headstart at the bottom of the Mortirolo. However, this backfired, as Bertie punctured and was behind at the start of the Mortirolo.

Up to this point Aru had been higher up in GC and so was clearly the leader. This was his bad day. Should Landa have been let off the leash at/after the Mortirolo, rather than playing the "my leader is behind" card? Apart from the steep start of the climb to Aprica, the remaining parcours was in Bertie's favour, although he would have been tired after having to come from behind.

An attack at the bottom of the last climb might well have been the best option. At this point, Landa would have been almost equal with Aru on GC and had been climbing better than him, so letting him off the leash would be logical (apart from the political implications). Astana (rather than Landa?) chose the safe option, a late attack to win the stage.

Arguably, after an earlier (initially successful) attack, Contador would, at worst, be able to limit his losses on the final false flat, losing possibly the same or slightly more time than he actually did (Aru would probably lose slightly more). For Landa to win the race, an earlier attack was called for. It was risky, but should have been tried, if Landa had the legs (I would say that he did).

On the first of the final trio of mountain stages, Astana's losses were due to bad luck with Landa crashing and Aru not having a good day. Bertie was now over 5 minutes ahead and it looked like everything was over. tbc
 
Aug 4, 2011
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Astana, if they ride like this at the tour will cause upsets among the main contenders.

Question is ,can Nibs hold on or will he crack like Aru.
 
Jun 10, 2009
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Am I the only one who thinks Landa should have been called back before the summit of Finestre, as soon as the group got away from Contador? Kangert, Landa and Aru working together should have seen Aru take the pink, even if it handed the stage to Uran (Hesjedal and Kruijswijk would have probably worked in the group, and Zakarin was going nowhere on the flat and would have been caught anyway).
 
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dsut4392 said:
Am I the only one who thinks Landa should have been called back before the summit of Finestre, as soon as the group got away from Contador? Kangert, Landa and Aru working together should have seen Aru take the pink, even if it handed the stage to Uran (Hesjedal and Kruijswijk would have probably worked in the group, and Zakarin was going nowhere on the flat and would have been caught anyway).
I agree with the statement. I said it before. But to think that way at the moment of the race is easier said than done.
 
Astana's tactics on the final weekend

Coming into the final two mountain stages both Astana guys are more than 5 minutes down, so realistically they were going for stage wins. On Friday, Contador now marks Landa and it's Aru's turn to jump away for the stage win and move into second.

On Finestre Contador looks pretty good until Landa attacks very strongly and Bertie cannot get onto his wheel. A couple of km later, Hesjedal goes is followed by Aru and Contador is clearly in trouble. After a moment, the only guy who hasn't distances him is Kangert, who sees that if Astana are to win he should also attack. He distances Contador, but not by a huge amount.

Escarabajo said:
dsut4392 said:
Am I the only one who thinks Landa should have been called back before the summit of Finestre, as soon as the group got away from Contador? Kangert, Landa and Aru working together should have seen Aru take the pink, even if it handed the stage to Uran (Hesjedal and Kruijswijk would have probably worked in the group, and Zakarin was going nowhere on the flat and would have been caught anyway).
I agree with the statement. I said it before. But to think that way at the moment of the race is easier said than done.
a) Yes, communication let alone coordination, would have been really difficult.

b) Kangert wasn't very far ahead of Contador at the summit. Waiting for him would have risked being caught by Bertie on the descent, as a lone rider is not at a disadvantage (Bertie did catch him before the final climb, thus pretty much neutralising him as a possible tactical weapon).

As for calling Landa back. Astana had two podium places sewn up. Since Aru was now ahead of Landa in GC, it probably increased the GC threat to Contador, but very very marginally. Also, it ensured that Aru would be second, which was the preferred outcome by team management/sponsors, so it probably makes sense from that point of view. However, for those reasons, Landa would be right to be looking for other employment.

In all, Astana lost because on a couple of occasions they had bad luck, they couldn't pedal fast enough (Aru on the Mortirolo and Landa in the TT). Landa could (or should) have be set free on the Mortirolo stage, but almost certainly Bertie would still have won.
 
Jun 4, 2015
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Vino said that Aru will go to the Tour to try to win th white jersey as he did in this year Giro.
But if it's the case, i would like to know if he will have to beat Quintana, is this last one still in contention for this jersey ?
 
Jun 4, 2015
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Because it could have an influence on their tactics in the Tour this year, because they will have two protected riders and not just one as last year.
 
amazing how easy it is to build "fairy tales theories based on a skewed vision of the realities in front of our faces.. The only time Contador was really threatened in this Giro was when he fell down and hurt his shoulders. The rest of the time he managed his win and even when struggling on Finestre was NEVER concerned about loosing a giro he won in the time trial. you can put all the if this and if that .. they will remain just that "ifs" but one thing was certain for Martinelli and he said it many times: Astana did not have a chance to win this Giro and he was right.
 
Jun 4, 2015
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Netserk said:
Yes, Quintana is still eligible for the white jersey, this year is his last though.
.

So if Aru wants to win this jersey he will have to be really high at GC, it could create some tension between him and Nibali
 
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Dedelou said:
amazing how easy it is to build "fairy tales theories based on a skewed vision of the realities in front of our faces.. The only time Contador was really threatened in this Giro was when he fell down and hurt his shoulders. The rest of the time he managed his win and even when struggling on Finestre was NEVER concerned about loosing a giro he won in the time trial. you can put all the if this and if that .. they will remain just that "ifs" but one thing was certain for Martinelli and he said it many times: Astana did not have a chance to win this Giro and he was right.
Nothing wrong with what "ifs" on this forum,Contador bots still question Nibali TDF win even these days."Fairy tales" are chosen over reality any time,so Astana supporters are not doing anything wrong by supporting the idea that Aru/Landa could have won this Giro with the right tactic.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Netserk said:
Yes, Quintana is still eligible for the white jersey, this year is his last though.
I wasn't even thinking about Quintana, I don't think that he'll be able to beat Pinot if he rides the Tour after the Giro, even Bardet could be a big problem for him with the Giro in his legs, I don't like his chances at all.
Riding like last year's Majka, that could be possible but going for the white jersey looks like a suicide mission.
 

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