Did we just witness the death of the attacks far from the finish?

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Are far away attacks dead?

  • Vino

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Mar 13, 2009
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All right, but not quite.

Dazed and Confused said:
Talansky only succeeded against a weak team from Tinkoff.
Against the strengths of Astana's tour team this year or Sky ('12) Talansky would have failed completely.
Also succeeded against Froome and Sky, and you'd hardly call their Dauphine team weak.

Dazed and Confused said:
Same for Contador's long distance attack in Vuelta . Weak Katusha had been working at the front for days. J-Rod and Moreno doesn't provide much firepower during a rouleur section . Similar tactics from Contador's would have failed in the Tour against a strong team.
Way too hypothetical, it was the Vuelta and both had vuelta teams, it wasn't like Saxo was amazingly strong. A Tour team say Astana, but then Contador would be bridging to Rogers, Roche, Majka and in keeping p with Contador's attack maybe only Fuglsang and/or Scarponi remain close enough to be useful.

Dazed and Confused said:
Quintana's long distance attack (AX3) in the tour last year was quashed by team Sky. No chance for him.
If you go insight of the line you are pitting your strength against theirs, this is dumb and will never work, unless you think you can out TT a TTT, granted uphill it may be easier, but you'll need to be amazing.

Dazed and Confused said:
Take Quintana's long distance attack in the Giro this year, well it only worked as a result of a botched neutralization. Without the fucc up, the stage would have been a wheelsuckers paradise just like the rest of the MTFs in that giro.
Could still have worked, guessing we'll never know.

Dazed and Confused said:
Excessive team strength suffocate exciting race action and reduces the spectacle to 3 km sprint on multi mountain stages. Crazy development.
Also the perception of team strength, but you are spot on.

Dazed and Confused said:
And of course team radios helps a strong team control a stage. Goes without saying.
Spot on, but I think this is exaggerated. The same info comes through on blackboards and it isn't hard to do the maths in your head, but someone else doing it for you and the extra speed of radios plays a part.

Dazed and Confused said:
Unless there is a way to reduce team strength in a race like the Tour, I'm pretty confident we will see less long distance attacks moving forward.
Maybe not reduce, but even up I think. Certainly in terms of GC, stage hunters still get enough chances.
 
@karlboss

Froome was done at CdD. Sky rode the entire last stage defensively with a dodgy plan. Had Froome been in from and without injuries, Sky would have quashed Talansky's attack. Go back and see how many Sky riders were going back and from during that stage. It was crazy.

For neutral fans, Tinkoff picking up that jersey on the previous stage was the best thing that could happen, otherwise the entire race would have been dull and predictable with Contador coming out as the winner.

Of course some of these things are hypo., but the difference between team strength in some of these cases are remarkable and very easy to see.

US Postal vs FDJ.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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@dazed
The break still beat Sky, of course they seemed to be only competing against Contador, but the break still beat them. ;)
 
Apr 30, 2014
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The main Problem today was the lack of cooperation in the break. Tony Martin did all the work. Kwiatkowski didn't ride for GC reasons. The others refused to work because they feared to give the stage win away to Kwia.
It didn't help that Kwias climbing skills were overrated.

Still it would be interesting to see if Tony had refused to do all the work.
 
I agree with the op, and I also think the element of "surprise" is gone in "attacking" in professional cycling.

I'm glad for the FFWD button as I find myself watching the beginning and basically the end of a race nowadays.
 
Kwiatkowski knew he could not match Nibali and Co. in the mountains so he tried to gain an advantage before the hardest part of the day. But he had a bad day, said he could not even go at his own speed and is very sorry for the hard work Tony put in. :(
 
Apr 15, 2013
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Linkinito said:
Today's stage was basically the perfect example of how far away attacks are basically doomed to fail.

Kwiatkowski, even helped with an incredibly Tony Martin during 90% of the stage, completely cracked at the very end in Chevrères and the final climb, losing over 2 minutes to Nibali, even though he virtually had the yellow jersey the whole stage.

Even Purito, who was in front all day and had nothing to lose being nearly an hour in the GC, and was 1st in five climbs out of seven, has lost all its lead in the final two climbs despite being very strong during 4 hours. 15 minutes were enough to make him lose the stage by nearly a minute.

Meanwhile, the favorite's peloton just stood there, Nibali's team did all the job, and Vincenzo takes the final honors, while some other riders (especially the other GC contenders) who didn't go in the breakaway still finished strong only seconds behind Nibali.

So did we just witness the death of the long runs and attacks from far away to gain several minutes in a queen stage?
Nah.. I salute Kwiatowski's brave attack, but he was just not good enough to pull it off. That simple. Look at how he rode in the other Vosges stages, at his results in high mountain stages this year... Kwiatowski just wasn't strong enough.

I am quite sure that had any of the Porte, Valverde, Péraud, Bardet, Pinot, Van Garderen or Konig been in the same position, they would have won the stage with a solid margin.

Simply put Kwiat wasn't strong enough. Even in offensive strategies, in the end what matters are the legs.

I salute his initiative though, and a guy like Bardet was jealous of that attack, saying it has been proving very frustrating to just follow...
 
Apr 15, 2013
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Dazed and confused,

Of course you are right that long range attacks mainly work because the defending team is too weak to defend against it properly (aka Fuente De, Talansky's Dauphine, etc...).

BUT, and it is a big but,

1/ Without such a long range attack this weakness wouldn't be exposed, and so wouldn't be exploited. It takes that long range attack to win the race ! You can say all you want, but despite Katusha's and Saxo's weakness in those 2 examples, had the rivals patiently waited for the last climb, or put in self a train, well they wouldn't have won. So this very audacity is what paid off.

2/ Against the best rider, with the best team, it is virtually impossible to win, long range attacks or not. Take the Sky train. When they can race the way they like it, ie with a train starting very intense and going up still, with a guy like Froome as a leader.. Well what to do ? Success of a long range attack is very very unlikely, but attacking in the last climb would just be impossible. And you point to Ax 3 Domaines, but you forget what happened the very next day on the road to Bagnères. Although after a while it settled in a bunch with an isolated Froome in it, Porte and the rest of the sky team where blown away by what was a series of long range attacks;

3/ Finally I agree with you that the key problem in modern cycling is team strength. Teams are too strong and too numerous, because now the difference between a leader and a gregario is minuscule compared to 20/30 years ago, and so they can crush attacks. The priority becomes weakining teams (smaller teams, worse coordination through no earphone, etc..).
 
Feb 19, 2013
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thequestionmark said:
The main Problem today was the lack of cooperation in the break. Tony Martin did all the work. Kwiatkowski didn't ride for GC reasons. The others refused to work because they feared to give the stage win away to Kwia.
It didn't help that Kwias climbing skills were overrated.

Still it would be interesting to see if Tony had refused to do all the work.
I agree with this.
 
Akuryo said:
He said that? Makes me like him a lot more. :)
Yeah, same thing. Maybe riders are finally realizing that aiming for top 10-15 doesnt do much for popularity/sponsors, etc.?

Now Kwiatkowski is liked in his team, they work for him knowing that he is capable of gaining results or can admit and say sorry when he fails, also there is a good reputation among the fans and exposure that comes from animating the race. In my opinion unless you have a real shot at top 3, its better to take risks and maybe because of breakaways like today (ones that involve rider who has a shot at top 10 and takes risks anyway) others will start doing the same.

I still feel really bad for T. Martin. If Kwiatkowski had a good day he might have held on (of course not enough to get yellow, but to get a stage). Just wasnt meant to be. I am sure OPQS will try again since there is nothing more to be gained after losing a chance for white (Pinot and Bardet are much better in the mountains).

I expect Bakelants and possibly Kwiatko again to be in a breakaway on wednesday with Martin trying to do something in the finale on thursday (and if that fails then Kwiatkowski and Trentin should still be there to try their hand at sprinting again and hope Sagan fails). I am loving the race so far! (minus Contador and Froome crash)
 
May 28, 2014
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veji11 said:
Nah.. I salute Kwiatowski's brave attack, but he was just not good enough to pull it off. That simple. Look at how he rode in the other Vosges stages, at his results in high mountain stages this year... Kwiatowski just wasn't strong enough.

I am quite sure that had any of the Porte, Valverde, Péraud, Bardet, Pinot, Van Garderen or Konig been in the same position, they would have won the stage with a solid margin.

Simply put Kwiat wasn't strong enough. Even in offensive strategies, in the end what matters are the legs.

I salute his initiative though, and a guy like Bardet was jealous of that attack, saying it has been proving very frustrating to just follow...
What makes You so sure? That they were able to do some wheelsucking this time?
 
Apr 15, 2013
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Czapiewski said:
What makes You so sure? That they were able to do some wheelsucking this time?
I don't have any proof nor evidence sir, but to me Kwiat never looked that strong in this tour anytime the road went up. But hey, I might be completely wrong !
 
veji11 said:
I don't have any proof nor evidence sir, but to me Kwiat never looked that strong in this tour anytime the road went up. But hey, I might be completely wrong !
Well, he did look strong on early stages but on a flat parts/downhill. Wonder what his weight is now....
And thats just pure speculation. None of those guys would have Tony Martin with them so your point is mute :D

I still think he will win a stage. Hopefully they wont chase him too hard now, or he loses lots of time in first big MTF stage
 
Jul 9, 2009
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There also another issue with these type of attacks, you have to be able to recover from them. With less doping it becomes more difficult to recover.
 
May 28, 2014
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Kwiat at this stage of his career is rather average climber, add his fatigue after long season and TdF attacks in the flat/helping Trening and Renshaw previously - I expected him to crack earlier. But at the same time - noone from this group was able to hold, even Purito, so it is hard for me to belief that Konig or Bardet would fare batter.
 
Kwia wasn't strong enough ignoring the long attack but even so it is evident that long attacks are doomed to fail due to new technology and the such. The exception is schleck on galibier, but that will only happen once every few years or so. Talansky in the dauphine was also brilliant, but I doubt that we will be seeing this often
 

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