Determining Leadership-naive question

Jul 18, 2014
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I have a question about how teams determine leadership for a single day or stage race. In many sports, there is competition to determine who starts. Coaches often make final decisions, but if rider B outperforms incumbent rider A, they’ll eventually get a shot. Do teams ever have practice sessions where they go head to head to the top of the mountain top finish or time their sprinters? I know they often use results in races leading up to an event, but I’ve never read that a rider was chosen bc he outperformed other riders in training.
 
I have a question about how teams determine leadership for a single day or stage race. In many sports, there is competition to determine who starts. Coaches often make final decisions, but if rider B outperforms incumbent rider A, they’ll eventually get a shot. Do teams ever have practice sessions where they go head to head to the top of the mountain top finish or time their sprinters? I know they often use results in races leading up to an event, but I’ve never read that a rider was chosen bc he outperformed other riders in training.
I don't think teams/managers ever do a "test race" to determine who is the leader. I think teams and managers (and the riders as well) know very well from regular training and lab tests and power data, who is in best shape and what each rider is capable of. In case it's really close, they will start with multiple leaders and try to exploit that tactically or simply see during the race who is in a better position (one in the break, one in the chase, both doing nothing and letting the other teams riders do the work). In such a case you also have to factor in the possibility that one crashes or gets a puncture etc.
 
I'm sure friendly rivalry , an attempt to alleviate boredom, and natural competitiveness will lead to town sign and brow of hill challenges between teammates riding together, and that it is often encouraged by the DSs and coaches. But I very much doubt that these play much of a part in determining selections or tactics.

No point in having riders peak for the selection trial rather than the race itself.
 
The leader of the day might not be the rider who is expected (or assigned) to attempt the win. It might be a rider who is more experienced with tactics and strategy to 'manage' the team during the race.
 
Jul 18, 2014
13
2
3,535
I mostly get how leaders are chosen in the way y’all have described. I was just curious if there ever was head to head completion in training to determine the leader. Who’s going to lead us? First one up Alpe d'Huez.
 
I mostly get how leaders are chosen in the way y’all have described. I was just curious if there ever was head to head completion in training to determine the leader. Who’s going to lead us? First one up Alpe d'Huez.
I know they will sometimes do mini races, to keep training fun and competitive. Sometimes the team will initiate it, but i have heard of riders challenging each other for fun as well.
But not to claim leadership. I have heard stories of Evenepoel beating Mas, Alaphilippe and Stybar on training before his first pro race, that didn't change anything. Also heard Almeida beating Evenepoel this summer once, that also didn't change anything.
 
Reactions: davidsonduke
No competition to determine leadership unless you include a rider proving himself in actual races. I think (at least in some cases) it's a combination of personality, potential or what has already been shown in races. Currently Movistar is actually going through the starting process of change of leadership. Valverde has been the leader of that team for a decade and a half now as he gained partial leadership of the team very soon after he signed with them. Currently he is in process of shifting leadership of the team from himself to Enric Mas.
 

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