Do You Consider J.Rodriguez a Wheelsucker?

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Do You Consider J.Rodriguez a Wheelsucker?

  • Not really but his racing style can annoy me.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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  • Poll closed .
J-Rod isn't a wheelsucker. He just has a limited range for attacks and sometimes doesn't dare to take too much of a risk. Take Stelvio, where he needed time from Hesjedal, but the attack still only came with a kilometre to go. As a result he can sit in the bunch a lot (plus, at 56kg and 1'63 or whatever he is he can be quite easily bullied out of good spots in the group) and this can make him frustrating to watch, even for those who like him. And besides, as the leader he had every right to wheelsuck on Stelvio, it's just that he should have known it was counterproductive to his chances of victory.

Also, I think this ought to be written off in one sentence: Joaquím Rodríguez won a monument, solo. That's the point where wheelsucker tags have to be thrown off. When Evans won the Worlds riding in solo (with J-Rod behind him of course), that was the final nail in the coffin for Evans the Wheelsucker: it was over, that criticism would no longer be valid. Come to think of it, Mendrisio should be enough evidence that Purito's no wheelsucker. He was in the break of the day, he threw at least one attack when the elites made it up to them, and he and Kolobnev did their turns to try to pull Evans back, he was just shot from the effort and Evans was too strong.
 
Libertine Seguros said:
J-Rod isn't a wheelsucker. He just has a limited range for attacks and sometimes doesn't dare to take too much of a risk. Take Stelvio, where he needed time from Hesjedal, but the attack still only came with a kilometre to go. As a result he can sit in the bunch a lot (plus, at 56kg and 1'63 or whatever he is he can be quite easily bullied out of good spots in the group) and this can make him frustrating to watch, even for those who like him. And besides, as the leader he had every right to wheelsuck on Stelvio, it's just that he should have known it was counterproductive to his chances of victory.

Also, I think this ought to be written off in one sentence: Joaquím Rodríguez won a monument, solo. That's the point where wheelsucker tags have to be thrown off. When Evans won the Worlds riding in solo (with J-Rod behind him of course), that was the final nail in the coffin for Evans the Wheelsucker: it was over, that criticism would no longer be valid. Come to think of it, Mendrisio should be enough evidence that Purito's no wheelsucker. He was in the break of the day, he threw at least one attack when the elites made it up to them, and he and Kolobnev did their turns to try to pull Evans back, he was just shot from the effort and Evans was too strong.
I agree that Purito wasn't a wheelsucker back when he was a dom for Valv. The way I see Stelvio, is that it ofc was okay for him to expect Hesjedal to pull the group, but the fact that he didn't go with Scarponi when he attacked, but waited until the kite so he could do his sprint, is IMO what a wheelsucker with a sprint like Purito would do.

To me Purito is as one-dimensional as Cav. Be it hills or mountain, he will wait until he is sure that he can sprint the rest of the way.
 
Netserk said:
I agree that Purito wasn't a wheelsucker back when he was a dom for Valv. The way I see Stelvio, is that it ofc was okay for him to expect Hesjedal to pull the group, but the fact that he didn't go with Scarponi when he attacked, but waited until the kite so he could do his sprint, is IMO what a wheelsucker with a sprint like Purito would do.
This was the first time Purito was that close to winning a GT, so in hindsight, I'm pretty sure he's regretted not attacking earlier, but remember the next dat was the ITT so that was on his mind as well.
 
he said in an interview a couple weeks ago that he needed to be even more conservative to win a GT so i am not sure he thinks he should have attacked earlier on the stelvio.

honestly i don't think he is a total wheelsucker but his style of waiting until he is an anaerobic effort away from the finishing line to make his move, which he uses most of the times, annoys me.

long story short: sestrieres purito = cool
cuito negro, stelvio, pampeago, ancares purito = not cool

honestly since he wheelsucked pozzovivo all the way till 500 meters to go on pampeago while hesjedal was riding away i could never cheer for him again.
 
Jul 29, 2012
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Parrulo said:
he said in an interview a couple weeks ago that he needed to be even more conservative to win a GT so i am not sure he thinks he should have attacked earlier on the stelvio.
Yep. In another interview he said that when Hesjedal attacked a few days before that he let him go so hesjedal would get the jersey. And that way there was less pressure for him.

He says that that was his fault, not the stelvio stage so yeah.
 
Jul 30, 2009
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Wtf?

He just plays to his strength, and as it is pretty potent it's up to the others to outthink him or prey on his weakness ie FTP eg Contador in Vuelta.

But if that wasn't enough - Lombardy - case dismissed.

Next.
 
I think the term wheelsucker is pretty stupid to begin with and doesn't apply to very many riders. Most of the time it's riders just playing to their strength in a given situation, following orders from the DS, or simply not being strong enough to attack or pull.

I'd really only give that title to someone who, on a regular basis, rarely takes a pull when in a break or in a chase.
 
Apr 20, 2012
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Libertine Seguros said:
Also, I think this ought to be written off in one sentence: Joaquím Rodríguez won a monument, solo.
I must have missed that one, could you please point to the one.

Come on Libertine, you are a great poster but me thinks you like Rodriguez that much u cannot see for what he is: a great wheelsucker who blows everyone away on the last 2K's.

Nothing wrong with that, per se. He does it with some grace.
 
Nov 29, 2010
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He's not a wheelsucker, but he lacks confidence in himself or maybe its determination he's skimping on (compared to the top GT riders). Relying on your strengths is fair enough but I think he's convinced himself that the less painful route (all out attack 3km-0km to go) is always the best.

How on earth did he think he was going to make up 2:21 on Contador on the Bola del Mundo attacking with 3km to the summit ?? Seems the answer to that is that he didn't or he would've gone earlier ... and he certainly had the strength to do it !

While the Lombardia win was impressive I don't think its a great counter argument; sure he attacks at just over 10km out, but the last 9km are nearly all descending ... and in a classic it's all about the win and not about the time so playing to his super uphill sprint is exactly what he should do. He needs to up his mental game for GT's though.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Fearless Greg Lemond said:
I must have missed that one, could you please point to the one.

Come on Libertine, you are a great poster but me thinks you like Rodriguez that much u cannot see for what he is: a great wheelsucker who blows everyone away on the last 2K's.

Nothing wrong with that, per se. He does it with some grace.
Think you might want to reconsider.

Monument - Lombardia 2012
Attack - 8km out
Stayed away - Til the end
Won by - 9 seconds

Sormano 1 2


Followed by Villa Vergano KO


That isn't the actions of a wheel sucker by any stretch of the imagination. It's a ride in the style of Gilbert or Kelly.
 
deValtos said:
How on earth did he think he was going to make up 2:21 on Contador on the Bola del Mundo attacking with 3km to the summit ?? Seems the answer to that is that he didn't or he would've gone earlier ... and he certainly had the strength to do it !
Based on what? So you know his body better than him?
 
Nov 29, 2010
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cineteq said:
Based on what? So you know his body better than him?
No. What I will say though; when he made his attack you could see from following the the time gaps he consistently increased the gap between himself and Contador every km.

While it's not necessarily true, you could conclude from that (i) he was stronger than Contador on that day and (ii) he would've had a bigger time gap at the finish had he attacked at 4km to go instead of 3km.

Just because he understands his body better than everyone else doesn't mean he will get the best use out of it (i.e he doesn't have the best mentality)
 
deValtos said:
While it's not necessarily true, you could conclude from that (i) he was stronger than Contador on that day and (ii) he would've had a bigger time gap at the finish had he attacked at 4km instead of 3km.
Yes he was stronger that day. Had he known Contador wasn't feeling that great...It's easy to talk after the fact.

You're right he hasn't been really strong up there, but he's improved from Giro to Lombardia. The guy's just started challenging GTs as of last year FFS.
 
Nov 29, 2010
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cineteq said:
Yes he was stronger that day. Had he known Contador wasn't feeling that great...It's easy to talk after the fact.

You're right he hasn't been really strong up there, but he's improved from Giro to Lombardia. The guy's just started challenging GTs as of last year FFS.
Of course everything is easier in hindsight, but I don't think you need that hindsight to see that to break Contador for 2:21 you should attack him a bit earlier than 3km to go. If the roles were reversed it's not hard to guess what Contador would do, which of course they were on stage 17. I bet when Alberto attacked way out he had no idea if it was going to work or not.
 
deValtos said:
Of course everything is easier in hindsight, but I don't think you need that hindsight to see that to break Contador for 2:21 you should attack him a bit earlier than 3km to go. If the roles were reversed it's not hard to guess what Contador would do, which of course they were on stage 17. I bet when Alberto attacked way out he had no idea if it was going to work or not.
It's the problem with many of these Unipublic brutal MTFs that all the toughest stuff is at the top. Bola del Mundo is, until that last 3km, just the same Puerto de Navacerrada that has been in use for decades. Contador grew up climbing that. It's a risk to make the attack before then, especially for somebody like Purito who needs the steep gradients to make some separation. For the epic duel tag it got given, Mosquera only attacked Nibali at the Puerto de Navacerrada and it was only that last few, steep kilometres where the duel took place. Sure, Mosquera had much less time to make up than Purito did, and for that reason you could argue Purito had nothing to lose and should have gone for it earlier, but when all the difficulty is in the final few kilometres we should never be surprised when the riders leave it to that. Especially as unlike Contador, Rodríguez isn't the kind of guy that can keep a gap with his TT skills when they go several climbs out, so he couldn't have gone from Cotos (counterargument: Menchov was in the break, could have waited for him. Counter-counterargument: while Menchov had the strength on the day, Katyusha's domestiques had been pulling the péloton for two weeks before the Saxo ambush so may not have been able to provide enough assistance to make it hard before then).

Rodríguez attacks plenty: within his range for attacks. He perhaps lacks the confidence to make attacks from greater distance on uphill or mountaintop finishes. However, wins like Lombardia, or even more so his win into Orio in País Vasco 2010 when he crushed the field on the Alto de Aia twice, show that he's far from immune to going when there's still plenty of work to be done. If anything, Rodríguez' reputation is being hurt by some seriously crappy course design. If Unipublic will persist in designing routes with few climbs on the course until the end (so no opposition will be tired before the final climb) and putting these short to mid length climbs with super steep final 2-3km, then of course Rodríguez will continue to win races by sitting in until the final 2-3km and then attacking for the win. It's the best strategy for him. I just feel that too many courses of late have meant this strategy is easy enough for him to implement, so he has started to forget about other options.
 
Oct 26, 2012
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Of course he's not a wheelsucker. Though I have wondered at times why his rivals haven't made him do more work. For instance in the giro last year there were plenty of occasions when Basso/Scarponi/Hesjedal rode at the front or had teammates at the front in the final 50k (when Purito was fairly isolated), allowing purito to sit there and sprint away in the end and take bonus seconds. Either they weren't that concerned or not that much they could do.
 
Apr 20, 2012
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ultimobici said:
Think you might want to reconsider.

Monument - Lombardia 2012
Attack - 8km out
Stayed away - Til the end
Won by - 9 seconds


That isn't the actions of a wheel sucker by any stretch of the imagination. It's a ride in the style of Gilbert or Kelly.
Well, now I have to change my opinion on Rodriguez. He attacked ONE time - how far from the top was it exactly - in last years last WT race he had to win in order to win the WT? That is not trully a great argument ultimobici. And, really, to compare Rodriquez with Sean Kelly does not make it better to be honest.

Still not reconsidering it as you see.

Rodriguez is a very smart man, a smart wheelsucker who knows what he is capable of and to be fair, he is the best at it. And I am not judging him on that to be fair, at least he attacks.
 

airstream

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Mar 29, 2011
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successful attacks imply that at a certain moment one is much stronger than others. strictly speaking that's the reason why we see resultative solos so rarely. and anyone dares accuse riders of the fact that they are not much stronger than the rest? Fearless Greg Lemond, how many gt riders don't you consider wheelsuckers?
 
Fearless Greg Lemond said:
Well, now I have to change my opinion on Rodriguez. He attacked ONE time - how far from the top was it exactly - in last years last WT race he had to win in order to win the WT? .
Actually its precisely the opposite. Purito was 20 points behind in the wt and lombardia offers 100 for a win. He would have been far better off staying with everyone and placing in.the sprint, as he had the year before.

By attacking he put the wt win at risk (if he did care about it anyway).
 
Apr 20, 2012
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The Hitch said:
Actually its precisely the opposite. Purito was 20 points behind in the wt and lombardia offers 100 for a win. He would have been far better off staying with everyone and placing in.the sprint, as he had the year before.
Good point, there were quite a lot of good finishers in the pack on the last climb. Not that Rodriguez is a BAD finisher, just didn't want to take a risk I guess. To me it was a typical Rodriguez victory, it seems not everyone agrees on that.
 
Lets not forget these are just humans we are talking about not machines, albeit very talented human beings. Sometimes you cant attack on every climb if the legs dont feel 100%. If someone is a strong climber without being explosive then wheelsucking is the only way to go. It's all about getting the best out of what skills you have.

Most sprinters need to stay in cover until the final 300 metres when they can go full gas, Thats just the way this sport is.
 

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