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Efficacy of reconnaissance

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May 20, 2010
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theswordsman said:
The course and the climbs change every year, so they haven't seen it much. This year they go up the Tourmalet twice, I believe once each way on different days, so that would make a difference. The Tourmalet was used in the Tour in 2006, 2008, and 2009. Contador wasn't allowed to race in 2006 or 2008, so last year was probably his first time on the climb (I haven't checked the Dauphine).

There's no reason to think that he did it perfectly the first time, and couldn't find a way to do it better this year. Also, he could see which teammates were able to ride with him, and start strategizing together.

Just riding an Hors Categorie climb is a big part of preparation. The riders can decide which sections suit their own characteristics for an attack, and where other riders might put them in danger.

Evans said that when his DS took him on recon of the Mur de Huy this year, he realized he'd been riding it wrong all the other years. He credited that with his win over Contador.

At Paris-Nice, the Caisse DS scouted one stage in advance by car and told the team that they should attack on a certain curve and take advantage of the wind to cause a separation.

At the Tour last year, the famous break by Columbia in which Armstrong put time on Contador was a result of another recon drive by someone on the team. That, like Paris-Nice, wasn't some master stroke by a more experienced rider - it was decided by staff in the team bus. That's why I laugh when people say the wind is Contador's kryptonite. What he doesn't seem to have is someone doing course recon for him in advance.

A very thorough and convincing answer. It's clear AC needs to see for himself, which may reflect a preference for direct experience and also indicates how much he's calling the shots and making decisions.

I agree that an Armstrong serious about doing well will find a way up there soon now. If not, well...
 
Aug 16, 2009
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thehog said:
Contador reconned prior to CI then reconned the cobbled stage with PVP post classics. Your boy was busy with his gut and reconning his closet in Girona.

Don't waste my time.

Recon between Lux & TDS? So when's he going to fit time in for the Feds?

Funny thing about blood doping. Makes mountains flat.

Lot to learn. Re-stated.

OK, time to stop the bickering we are solving nothing. Lance isn't my "boy" any more than AC......and I know you mentioned he was being recalled to the US for questioning on Monday which didn't happen so what are you hearing now?
 
Oct 18, 2009
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God dammit if only I knew how to post pictures on this forum :mad:
I mean it says "copy picture URL" but that never works! Someone told me to right-click on the picture and click "copy image location" but my computers are in French and German and I don't find anything that would correspond to that :mad:
Hence the link and no picture.[/QUOTE]
:confused:

I have the same problem my friend
 
Oct 18, 2009
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alberto.legstrong said:
Do you ride a bike? I do and have never raced but I know when on a spirited ride with others, I am much more tentative on roads I am unfamiliar with. eg, That hill up ahead could be short, or it could take a left turn up a tw0t of a hill that could wreck me if I attacked right here, but if I use my knowledge of the route to time my move....

Bot Line: I can go a lot more quickly if I know the route.

It Helps. I couldnt believe the giro finishes this year charging in at 60kph on roads they aint never seen in their lives. Thats putting yoyur life in your hands. thats soo dangerous!
 
Feb 1, 2010
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I'm no cyclist but I would imagine that getting at least somewhat familiar would be a tremendous advantage, at the very least a psychological one if not a practical one.

Even as a rower we like to get as much time on the water of a new course as possible... and there's even less variables as a bike course as they (rowing course) are all, well, 2km long and straight.... it's nice to get a feel for the water, what kind of effect the wind has on it, find significant landmarks along the course, find currents if it has them, etc. I'd imagine it would have equal, if not much more value in cycling.

If it did not even pose a practical advantage (which I'm sure it does) it would nonetheless give a psychological one.
 
altark123 said:
OK, time to stop the bickering we are solving nothing. Lance isn't my "boy" any more than AC......and I know you mentioned he was being recalled to the US for questioning on Monday which didn't happen so what are you hearing now?

I take your point. I’m not trying to beat you up but Armstrong is not really doing any recon. He’s been hiding back in the US. More to the point he’s spent very little time with his team. Contador did 4 days in the in Pyrenees and he’ll have a good understanding how each stage feels stacking each stage like the Tour one after the other. More importantly he took his team with him. This is not the first time the team has been riding together and for the life of me I cannot see how Radioshack will become the powerhouse and cohesive unit when they haven’t’ even ridden together let alone all been the in same country at the same time.

http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/06/news/contador-‘tour-will-be-decided-in-pyrenees’_119614
 
Mar 22, 2010
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Angliru said:
You can't make a judgement based on one frame of an encounter frozen in time. It's my understanding that Contador and Andy Schleck and probably Frank also have spent time together in the off season. It's not a front that they get along as far as from what I've read.

I agree with your first paragraph entirely. Being unfamiliar with a route, especially a climb can be one's undoing. Put too much energy into the start of a climb that you know little about can leave you sputtering off the back.

I agree that any picture can just completely distort the reality of an event. I tried to imply that succinctly. A photo could been clicked 3 seconds later that showed a complete reversal of expressions by everyone.

I think the more I get into observing racing the more I'd like to see no radios, at least in some smaller races. Off topic.
 
Mar 22, 2010
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thehog said:
I take your point. I’m not trying to beat you up but Armstrong is not really doing any recon. He’s been hiding back in the US. More to the point he’s spent very little time with his team. Contador did 4 days in the in Pyrenees and he’ll have a good understanding how each stage feels stacking each stage like the Tour one after the other. More importantly he took his team with him. This is not the first time the team has been riding together and for the life of me I cannot see how Radioshack will become the powerhouse and cohesive unit when they haven’t’ even ridden together let alone all been the in same country at the same time.

http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/06/news/contador-‘tour-will-be-decided-in-pyrenees’_119614

I never though this would be RS vs AC and I couldn't agree with myself more.

But seeing the leakygas and ineffective Astan team at the giro makes me a little concerned about AC at the tdf. (Yes, I know the same astana members won't be at the tdf.) I don't claim to be rational. Only right.
 
Mar 22, 2010
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Christian said:
Here's the picture from AC's twitter:

http://tweetphoto.com/24940962


God dammit if only I knew how to post pictures on this forum :mad:
I mean it says "copy picture URL" but that never works! Someone told me to right-click on the picture and click "copy image location" but my computers are in French and German and I don't find anything that would correspond to that :mad:
Hence the link and no picture.

My favorite way to learn little tags and codes is to see how formatting occurs by looking at the code and tags when responding to a post.

See that little backslash gazmo? >> / It closes the bracket. it's the secret character !!!

Here's a not so secret character....

Instead of the http://www.blahblahblah.com/is that a boneshaker in your pants or are you just happy to see me.jpg
That's just a joke, no real known destination.

with the taking you to a web address when c....com/tumblr_kx3j072Aag1qauw3xo1_500.jpg[/img]
 
May 20, 2010
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alberto.legstrong said:
tumblr_kx3j072Aag1qauw3xo1_500.jpg

Interesting how a brand-new high wheeler is still built with cotter-pin cranks. Didn't know they still made them, since I've seen steel cotterless on discount-store bikes. Many other details--fork design, for instance--current practice.
 
Oct 16, 2009
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Christian said:
Here's the picture from AC's twitter:

http://tweetphoto.com/24940962


God dammit if only I knew how to post pictures on this forum :mad:
I mean it says "copy picture URL" but that never works! Someone told me to right-click on the picture and click "copy image location" but my computers are in French and German and I don't find anything that would correspond to that :mad:
Hence the link and no picture.

I think the issue lies with tweetphoto.com, not you. Image linking only works if the URL ends with .jpg or .gif or similar.
 
Aug 16, 2009
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thehog said:
I take your point. I’m not trying to beat you up but Armstrong is not really doing any recon. He’s been hiding back in the US. More to the point he’s spent very little time with his team. Contador did 4 days in the in Pyrenees and he’ll have a good understanding how each stage feels stacking each stage like the Tour one after the other. More importantly he took his team with him. This is not the first time the team has been riding together and for the life of me I cannot see how Radioshack will become the powerhouse and cohesive unit when they haven’t’ even ridden together let alone all been the in same country at the same time.

http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/06/news/contador-‘tour-will-be-decided-in-pyrenees’_119614


I agree on the RS not riding together point, good idea by Astana. Levi is going to recon the Alps with teammates soon..... http://www.facebook.com/mastertheshift?v=app_122134447813895
 
May 29, 2010
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theswordsman said:
The course and the climbs change every year, so they haven't seen it much. This year they go up the Tourmalet twice, I believe once each way on different days, so that would make a difference. The Tourmalet was used in the Tour in 2006, 2008, and 2009. Contador wasn't allowed to race in 2006 or 2008, so last year was probably his first time on the climb (I haven't checked the Dauphine).

There's no reason to think that he did it perfectly the first time, and couldn't find a way to do it better this year. Also, he could see which teammates were able to ride with him, and start strategizing together.

Just riding an Hors Categorie climb is a big part of preparation. The riders can decide which sections suit their own characteristics for an attack, and where other riders might put them in danger.

Evans said that when his DS took him on recon of the Mur de Huy this year, he realized he'd been riding it wrong all the other years. He credited that with his win over Contador.

At Paris-Nice, the Caisse DS scouted one stage in advance by car and told the team that they should attack on a certain curve and take advantage of the wind to cause a separation.

At the Tour last year, the famous break by Columbia in which Armstrong put time on Contador was a result of another recon drive by someone on the team. That, like Paris-Nice, wasn't some master stroke by a more experienced rider - it was decided by staff in the team bus. That's why I laugh when people say the wind is Contador's kryptonite. What he doesn't seem to have is someone doing course recon for him in advance.

Unlikely to find the tourmalet anywhere near a Dauphine course,totally different part of france. Pyrenees not alps!
 
Mar 13, 2009
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I can't believe no one has actually clicked on what this is really all about...

It is a PR stunt

You don't need a camera crew to do a recon, yes it happens more and more, and it is always planned.
And when you just happen to meet the Stars of another team WHO HAPPEN TO RIDE THE SAME BRAND OF BIKE at the top...
 
Notso Swift said:
I can't believe no one has actually clicked on what this is really all about...

It is a PR stunt

You don't need a camera crew to do a recon, yes it happens more and more, and it is always planned.
And when you just happen to meet the Stars of another team WHO HAPPEN TO RIDE THE SAME BRAND OF BIKE at the top...

Yes 4 days of recon for a 30 second photo-shoot. Stupid. Don't waste our time.
 
Jun 3, 2010
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While the re-con was not only for the photo shoot it is quite obvious specialized "recommened" their three star athletes to ride the tourmalet on this day. No way its by chance.
 
Jul 27, 2009
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benpounder said:
It is very much worth doing. Familiarity with the route, length, difficulty are valuable before racing said route. Furthermore, each route has nuances that can give a rider an edge. Where are the gradient changes? Where is the wind likely to come from? Where are the shady zones? Where does water pool on the road? Where are the problematic road surfaces? Which corners have room for error and which dont? What are the roads like coming into a critical section? Where are large vs small vs solo breaks likely to succeed?

Being from Chicago, I'd guess you know baseball. And if so, why do hitters scout a pitcher (or visa versa) that they are likely to encounter? Same reason riders reconnoiter the roads they will race.

Even at a very modest amateur level, knowing the course of a road race well is an advantage.

To give you an example, one course I've raced on a couple of times features a long 2-3% section that tires everyone out (at race pace) but doesn't generally split the field, and then a short, steeper section that you can't see as you round a corner, with 3-4 km to the finish. The first time I raced it, a group of five attacked on the steeper bit; I missed the initial attack, burned all my matches bridging solo to them when nobody else would chase, and finished fifth.

The next time I raced the course, I was the one who attacked on the steep pinch, and we got a break on the field. Unfortunately, I spent too many matches in the attack (should have rolled off earlier and got somebody else to do the work)...and finished fifth.

See how much knowing the course helps? :D
 
Jun 3, 2010
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thehog said:
Yes 4 days of recon for a 30 second photo-shoot. Stupid. Don't waste our time.

All fourdays were not just for the photo shoot but its pretty clear specialized "recommended" their three star tour de france riders ride the tourmalet on this day.
 
Wendel Clark 17 said:
While the re-con was not only for the photo shoot it is quite obvious specialized "recommened" their three star athletes to ride the tourmalet on this day. No way its by chance.

Yep. Specialized introduced the concept of reconning the Tour stages during the break in June to AC and the Brothers Schleck. It was never done before by either. Ever. Bravo Specialized. One 30 second meet up at the top of the Tourmalet over a 4 day period. Now that's called maximizing your marketing dollar. :rolleyes:
 
Jul 27, 2009
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Just casuallly bumping into their main competition on top of a mountain haha just imagine...

Mrs Schleck: 'so honey, how was your day?'
'oh not bad, was busy in the Pyrenees - you'll never believe who we bumped into on top of the Tourmalet!'
'who?'
'Contador!'
'well fancy that!'
 
Jan 30, 2010
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Ashtabula said:
wximg_1188_600.jpg


As this encounter shows, the top pros think it's worth doing. Why? Would the road be that different from previous years, or is it a psychological effect?

It's cold up there at the end of May, won't it be a different place, with different surfaces, etc. in the middle of July?

Remember back to when you first started riding big climbs.

Remember when you find a new climb? You check it out, maybe overgear on some sections, despite putting out a good effort...

The next weekend you go back to climb, the exact same route, and beat your time by a considerable margin?

That is the effect recon has.

Same at pro level as in grass roots level.

Dunno if Evans reconned the Zoncolan, but if he had to do it again this weekend, I suspect he would use a smaller inner chain ring.