Itzulia Basque Country 2021, Spain, April 5 - April 10

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I agree with LS here. Losing the jersey only caused more unknows and chaos than needed. Previously the only unknowns were Poga and maybe Yates. With stage 4 there's suddenly McNulty who's an unknown when it comes to climbing and some unnecessary byproducts with Billbao, Izaguirre and Buchmann. Roglic was more than strong enough to take Poga mano a mano. He didn't need to hope and rely on Astana and Movistar being dumb and blowing themselves up (as usuall) and i doubt he and his DS liked for him to go 40k deep. IMO Roglic was today strong enough to superficially tape terrible decisions from stage 4.

UAE lost the race yesterday by not being atentive enough at the top of Elosa and possibly by not including McNulty to the rotation on the flat preceeding Karabelin even if considering how hard he blew up later on (passed by G. Martin on flat!) i dunno if it wouldn't be only a hindrance for Poga. Also, i dunnohow hard Roglic went on Karabelin and if he had more reserves than it looked (he seemed to be in some trouble later on but he was perfectly fine on Arrate).

As for Jumbo being a young, unexperienced team in this race. Tolhoek, Vingegaard, Oomen, Foss and at least partly Hofstede are all tested and battle-hardened guys that palmares include a GT top 10 (Oomen Giro '18), l'Avenir win (Foss '19) and multiple WT stage wins. Besides the Dane everyone this week were subpar.
 
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While Pogi greatly reduces the gap in the first half of Krabelin, and that he would of course have been able to ascend faster if fresher, Rogla waits to take the front from Mas until he is getting quite close, he looks back several times, and once he take the front, the gap goes out again. If McNulty sacrifices himself on the flat (but Pogi doesn't pull at all there), maybe the gap would be 10''-15'' less (IIRC, the gap was never under 15''-20'' on the climb), but I'm quite sure Roglic would attack sooner then. And given how quickly McNulty drops on the climb, I'm not sure how much he had to contribute with on the flat, nor if it would be more than what Pogi did there.
But Pogi didn't do anything on the flat after Hirschi dropped down. Then it was just one man against four.
 
Using the youngsters sparingly, until the stage 4, where they knew race leader will be under constant attack, not letting Roglič be exposed for a second. And then that tactical move, the race decisive one, on the same stage, loaning the leaders jersey to McNulty, gift he never asked for or wanted to have. JV giving just enough seconds to take Pogačar from Rogličes wheel and putting him in front of McNulty. Letting other teams closer, to make the race harder. Whoever is still claiming this was a mistake should in my opinion let go and embrace and enjoy it, a masterpiece.
If McNulty and UAE didn't want the jersey they'd have called him back or told him not to work in that group, that would have been easy enough to do.

Do you think all those guys getting up the road to allow Arroyo and co. 13 minutes in the 2010 Giro was part of Liquigas' masterplan because that stage weakened Astana and BMC? I mean, it all worked out in the end, but that doesn't mean mistakes can't have been made on the way. I believe that stage 4 was still a mistake because, as railxmig points out, it added more variables to the race that they wouldn't have had to deal with otherwise, and it meant they had to go far deeper for far longer on stage 6 than they would have done otherwise. Everything after the split on stage 6 was done masterfully. But that doesn't immediately vindicate stage 4 as some masterpiece because it wouldn't have mattered whether or not Rogla was in the yellow jersey once he stayed with Astana because he was strong enough, and the attack was early enough in the stage that the guys who were there with Rogla wouldn't have been chewed up by the stage to that point regardless. So we go back to toby's point from two days ago: we won't actually know whether stage 4 gained them anything because by being strong enough to win here, he proves he would have been strong enough had he not been starting with a deficit too, so it was just adding needless risk to the strategy, which is very uncharacteristic for a team that has predicated most of its success AND most of its failure in recent years on a conservative, risk-averse strategy.
 
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How is it masterful to put yourself on the back foot?

Giving away the jersey to Chaves or another lesser rider could have been a good move but giving away the jersey to Pogacar team was dumb as hell.

They were lucky Pog was caught behind on a rare split. Had Pogacar been glued to Roglic wheel the most likely outcome was Tadej winning.

Roglic had to pull while Pogacar could freewheel due to McNulty being chasing.
I f someone is not a threat to you, you are not on back foot. All they did was create dilemas for UAE
He wouldnt pull if that was the case, Rogla would attack in the last climb (like they planned), enough time to get 23 sec from BM, accutally I doubt BM would even come with the group to the last climb, it was always going to be roglic in almost all scenarios, BM is just not strong enough and Pogacar would not be able to gain enough time (if any at all) on roglic
 
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Whoever has some in-depth knowledge in cycling and has been closely watching the love duo rivalry already had, or eventually will came around and admit, if not to the world, to him or herself, Itzulia Basque Country 2021 was a masterpiece, from JV tactics point of view. There is just no way around that.

Claiming otherwise for sure is ones prerogative, but that doesn't change much.
 
Whoever has some in-depth knowledge in cycling and has been closely watching the love duo rivalry already had, or eventually will came around and admit, if not to the world, to him or herself, Itzulia Basque Country 2021 was a masterpiece, from JV tactics point of view. There is just no way around that.

Claiming otherwise for sure is ones prerogative, but that doesn't change much.
Really?
 
As for Pogačar or UAE, making mistakes. In my opinion it would look bad if they wouldn't give the leader a fighting chance. Especially is Roglič would still take the overall, having Pogačar on his wheel. And in reality anybody being in leaders jersey on stage 6 would have had a hard time defending it. No point in moaning about this one, better to focus on next races and move on. Nobody will win all races.

Just look at TDF 2020 and what Rogličes response was. It is just one race in the end.
 
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And another thing to say is, the way JV raced this race, that enabled the possibility for long range attack to be successful. Doing their classic thing, that would not do it. You can't wear leaders jersey through the whole race and to be expected to in addition initiate long race attacks. I am happy that this debate settled.

Roglič is an elite long range attacker, given JV doesn't hog the race with their team tactics.
 
And another thing to say is, the way JV raced this race, that enabled the possibility for long range attack to be successful. Doing their classic thing, that would not do it. You can't wear leaders jersey through the whole race and to be expected to in addition initiate long race attacks. I am happy that this debate settled.

Roglič is an elite long range attacker, given JV doesn't hog the race with their team tactics.
So they voluntarily ceded the option where they didn't have to work hard from long distance, in favour of one where they did have to work hard from long distance, and other factors such as Astana's race tactics had to fall into place for them, and I should laud this as genius because they had the strength to pull it off? I will praise them for having the strength and the balls to pull off stage 6, but even if it was done deliberately I'm not going to laud stage 4 as a clever idea because it made things needlessly complicated for them. And as Formigal 2016 shows, even if you're the race leader you can get into those moves if you're attentive enough. Roglič would have been paying attention to Astana on the Elosua descent whether he was leading the race or needed time.

Do you believe Liquigas were happy to allow 55 riders up the road in 2010 as part of a masterplan to weaken Astana and BMC knowing they would be able to take 13 minutes back on David Arroyo?
 
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Even Libertine is sometimes wrong. (About the Ag2R jersey for instance. :p)

But about this one: Everything turned out very well for Jumbo. Helped by some UAE mistakes and the other teams, like Astana. But that does not make it a tactical masterclass. And, although I don't really want to get into a personal discussion here again, like I seem to these days, I have never seen you interested in anything in cycling but Roglic (and Jumbo because they are his team). I have the suspicion that you haven't followed cycling closely for decades. (Me neither.) Unlike Libertine. So to say the debate is settled and it was a clear masterclass and everyone has to admit it now, there cannot be another opinion, makes me laugh, sorry.
I'm very sure not even Roglic would say that, at least not if you asked him privately...
 
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I said you are wrong, note that the word wrong is a bit harsh. Why i did it is because you claim you are right.

In reality, likely you just don't want to admit and give credits to JV, for whatever reasons involved, when the credits are due. If the tactics would not pan out, you would give full credit.

As for your reasoning, i don't plan to respond to it, due to the fact we would discuss a hypothetical scenarios, not relevant to this race.

In short, the number one prerogative, tactical vise, was to get Pogačar from Rogličes wheel. And they succeeded in that, tactically. Nobody can deny this, no amount of bending the reality will do.
 
I'm not sure if this isn't stretching a bit but... Jumbo and Nibali ceeded their pink/advantage to Carapaz on the Courmayeur stage in Giro '19. It ended up biting their backs. Of course McNulty is no Carapaz but he's also a relatively unknown factor that was really good during stage 4, where he gained time. He ended up blowing up but other things could had happen. Bilbao and co. were also unknowns. That's playing with fire and i don't think anybody (at least me myself) would want to deliberately play with fire if it was unnecessary to begin with.

As for CyclistAbi, i believe twitter might be a better place for you.
 
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Stage 11 of the 2010 Giro d'Italia is not hypothetical. It happened.

I don't see any reason to give credit for Jumbo for stage 4. I have already given credit to them and Rogla for stage 6.

Getting Pog out from Rogla's wheel had nothing to do with what Jumbo did on stage 4 and everything to do with Astana's team tactics and Rogla being more attentive. Once that happened, however, he had to commit fully, make the alliances and do the work. But even if he went to Usartza with Pogačar in his wheel, Pogačar needed to gain time on him regardless.

You seem to believe that because they won the race, it instantly means everything was part of a great masterplan and there can't have been mistakes along the way. I believe that they have made mistakes along the way but they have overcome them, thanks to a combination of Roglič's strength and guts on the final day, and other factors (Astana and Movistar's tactics, and UAE's own tactical errors in particular) falling into place for them. That's why I raise the 2010 Giro example. Because Liquigas won the race in the end, but nobody would reasonably claim that the way they did it in the end was how they drew it up on paper and it required a lot more work than had they controlled that break on stage 11 and Basso dropped Evans and Vino on Zoncolan then defended for a week - but the race was way better for it.

I'm glad Jumbo did what they did on stage 4, because it probably didn't change the outcome - if Roglič was strong enough to win in the way he did, I don't buy him losing if they play a lower-risk and safer strategy that doesn't necessitate him going so deep - but it meant the fans got a better show yesterday.
 
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And on a bit unrelated note, as this discussion was conducted, who do you feel the Slovenes was cheering for, past decades? Champs of other nations. We never had problems with that.

P.S. We always had a couple of our cycling heros too, doubt any of you cheered for them.
 
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