Giro d'Italia 2020, stage 8: Giovinazzo - Vieste, 200 km

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They just didn't have the legs
Nonsense. First Holmes ostentatiously put himself at the back of the group, sapping the will to chase with Puccio and Rosskopf. Then they work a bit, but always get in behind Brändle. Then they give him another 20 seconds just by stalling the last km before the climb. All they had to do was keep him within 30 seconds or so. The other 2 were of zero importance, those would always fall back on the climb. It really was one beginners mistake after another.

Happy for Dowsett though.
 
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Nonsense. First Holmes ostentatiously put himself at the back of the group, sapping the will to chase with Puccio and Rosskopf. Then they work a bit, but always get in behind Brändle. Then they give him another 20 seconds just by stalling the last km before the climb. All they had to do was keep him within 30 seconds or so. The other 2 were of zero importance, those would always fall back on the climb. It really was one beginners mistake after another.

Happy for Dowsett though.
I think the capital mistake was Puccio not responding to Dowsett attack. Rosskopf had just closed on Brändle and rightfully thought it was someone else's responsability.

Puccio had also looked the strongest on the wall and was likely the fastest in a sprint (as proven in the end). He had no reason not to respond immediately, thus avoiding all the mind games that generally arise when a small group has to chase a lone attacker.
 
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People tend to believe that a breakaway only succeeds because the chasers are too passive. That's often wrong. But today it was obvious that they could and should have done more to catch Dowsett early on. That's the beauty of cycling - it's not all about power.
 
There are usually more factors leading to that though. Maybe there is a strong teammate behind who you don't want to drag to the finish (I guess Brändle is actually one of the reasons they decided not to chase hard but not chasing because you are afraid of Brändle? That doesn't sound very smart to me either), maybe there is a really strong guy in the group who would easily win if everyone does the same workload. So often we've seen groups with Sagan getting attacked, Sagan then not wanting to do all the chasing, and the others not wanting to help Sagan.

But this was different. You had a group of fairly evenly matched riders who all would have benefited from working to catch Dowsett yet they gifted him like half a minute on the kilometre before the final climb alone. That's inexcusable.
And considering they gained half a minute on Dowsett on the climb alone it's also not like this was a hopeless cause. They had a good chance to catch him but decided to rather look at each other.
You seem to have misunderstood my point.

It's not about being "scared of Brändle", it's about being struck between a rock and a hard place, and hoping someone else cracks and starts working first.
 
Part of me wants to apologize for typing this so much with a short time...I've typed it more in two months than in the last two years. I love it when a break works! I also love it when a member of the break races aggressively and gets the win!
 

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