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

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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.
Well, I was cheering for Roglič back when he was still racing for Adria Mobil. I'm a big Nordic sports fan.
 
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Roglič, that is an easy one.
Would you like to have a chat about Primož Čerin? Or August Prosinek?
It's about giving credit, when the credit is due. If you want to be an opinion maker, you need to be capable of that too.

Claiming on how JV blew it on this race, tactically vise stage 4, that is plain BS.
I've given them credit where I believe the credit is due (yesterday) and not given credit where I don't believe it is due (I don't believe stage 4 was part of a masterplan, and even if it was, I don't think that masterplan was an especially good one because it needlessly added complications and meant they had to work harder than they would have done otherwise to succeed).
 
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Claiming on how JV blew it on this race, tactically vise stage 4, that is plain BS.
Of course they didn't "blow it on the race" on stage 4, as it all worked out in the end. However, that doesn't exactly make it a tactical masterpiece. If there was a "tactical masterpiece" it was yesterday, and I'm not sure that was actually a tactical masterpiece, or just the ability to think on their feet, and use the cards they'd been played/accidentally played themselves.

That's true, but since people don't respect the system anyway (some Danes are even cheering for Canadians!) I am going to follow that other system and will now support everyone who is or seems German to me.
I'll cheer for whoever the hell I want to cheer for, regardless of nationality, height, hair-colour or results in French Cheese Races!
 
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So we're going to act here like giving stage win chance to Vingegaard on stage 4 and that way put him a good position also for stage 6 battle wasn't potentially good idea?

Because of stage 4 strategical decision he was another card available to play for TJV in case Pogacar catch Roglic and gave to TJV additional strategical options like potential Vingegaard's runaway Pogacar would need to cover with Roglic on the back of his wheels, etc.
 
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Sure it does, when you make an unorthodox tactical move and it pans out, that should be considered to be a tactical masterpiece by any standards.

P.S. Claiming having a Pogačar on your back wheel and defending the jersey on stage 6 would be wiser. Just listen to yourself.
Having Pogačar on your wheel and being able to choose when you attack - or indeed if you attack, because you don't need to - is not worse than having Pogačar on your wheel with the exact same time gap, but also needing to gain time on somebody else (who is Pog's teammate, so Pog doesn't need to attack if you yourself don't). If stage 4 had been a matter of them gaining time on Pogačar but at the cost of risking McNulty, Bilbao and co. gaining, then I'd agree it was worth it. But that wasn't what happened. Instead, they gained nothing on their direct competitors and lost a lot to their indirect competitors leaving themselves in a worse position with fewer options than when they started, so in no way am I going to say that's a masterstroke.

So, again: was allowing that break 13 minutes in the 2010 Giro a tactical masterpiece, since in the end they overcame it?
 
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@Libertine Seguros

ATM the worst thing that can happen to you is to have Roglič or Pogačar on your back wheel, while you defend the leaders jersey, on a hard race. This is No.1 problem to solve in pro cycling today. All the AI is focused solely on that. The rest is likely calculating if throwing a bottle is considered to be littering or treasure hunting.

@RedheadDane

Well, yes and no. In perfect world basically we could be talking about the whole tactical masterpiece, the race as a whole, stage 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and pre-race decisions being made. Realistically we don't stand a chance in doing that anytime soon. Lets give it time and best to leave this to cycling fans with a sweet tooth, to figure it out over the course of next decade or beyond. Who knows, maybe Libertine Seguros will eventually come around.

@all

I feel that things that needed to be said, were said. As trying to sell this as tactical failure, by some, that just doesn't do justice to JV. Beyond that i feel that anybody is entitled to believe in whatever they choose to believe and to figure it out by themself.


P.S. As Slovenian won i guess the mandatory tune. Last dance, before moving on. Looks like Roglič is already training i am sure that Pogačar won't wait all that long too.
 
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@Libertine Seguros

ATM the worst thing that can happen to you is to have Roglič or Pogačar on your back wheel, while you defend the leaders jersey, on a hard race. This is No.1 problem to solve in pro cycling today.
Situation 1:
You have Pogačar on your wheel, but you're leading the race. He has to do something to you to win the race. You need do nothing unless he does, and if he does do something, you can just sit on his wheel as the onus is on him to gain time.

Situation 2:
You have Pogačar on your wheel, but you're losing the race. He needs do nothing as it is his teammate that is winning the race. You need to attack to win the race, and he is not going to help you if you do. And if you do turn around the time required, you get to the same position as situation 1, only you've had to do more work to get to that position, and he's had to do no work so is fresh. Oh, and if you crash or have a mechanical, you're not the race leader so the 'unwritten rules' won't apply for you either.

Situation 1 is by no means worse, because in situation 2, even the best case scenario emerging from it puts you in an equivalent position to situation 1.

Also the worst thing that can happen to you is to be in a tough position defending the leader's jersey? No way. If you hold the leader's jersey, you're in a good position. The best, in fact. You're leading the race and if nothing happens, you win.
 
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ATM the worst thing that can happen to you is to have Roglič or Pogačar on your back wheel, while you defend the leaders jersey, on a hard race.
But does it work the same way if the person defending the leader's jersey is Roglic or Pogacar?

Well, yes and no. In perfect world basically we could be talking about the whole tactical masterpiece, the race as a whole, stage 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and pre-race decisions being made.
I just don't see the tactical masterpiece you're talking about. Unless you're saying that Jumbo was absolutely certain the following things would happen:

  1. Pogacar - at least initially - fully working for McNulty.
  2. Roglic being able to attack and bridge to an already strong leading group.
  3. McNulty exploding.
  4. Vingegaard being strong enough to just sit in the wheel of Pogacar, and being a possible Plan B if Roglic had been caught.
And I'm probably missing a few points.
 
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My take is that for straight forward hard races, like most TDF mountain stages, a strong team can follow a DS whiteboard zoom meeting plan for days with the strongest guy protected until the end each day.

As opposed to tough one day races and stages in complicated races like the Itzulia and Tirreno Adriatico where making elaborate plans is not possible and so results come down to cyclist's choices and in the end often rewards those with good instincts and those who are prepared to take risks.

McNulty had many good reasons to attack on thursday's stage: tire Jumbo's support riders, reduce the leader group and possibly set up Pogacar to do something. The point was also that McNulty felt strong and wanted to go as fast as possible to the finish line. What happened yesterday was Roglic paid attention and stayed with Aranburu and Izagirre descending, then capitalized and rested while Movistar and Astana scorched the valley part, then took over himself on the hills. It was a fluid situation where conditions around Rogla changed. If Pogacar and McNulty had stayed with him it would have been another situation and then he would have been forced to look for other opportunities.

So the talk about firing and praising the directors is a little redundant. They are excellent drivers but were not that important in this race.

This is what I think also:
However, that doesn't exactly make it a tactical masterpiece. If there was a "tactical masterpiece" it was yesterday, and I'm not sure that was actually a tactical masterpiece, or just the ability to think on their feet, and use the cards they'd been played/accidentally played themselves.
 
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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.


Cycling is not and has never been a 2 team affair of tactics as Tour of the Basque country has shown

  1. The giving away of the jersey was not intentional. It was accidental so none can claim that as superb tactics by TJV and in other circumstances on stage 6 it may have proved a terrible mistake
  2. The split on the descent was caused by Astana not TJV and that was where the race was lost ..little to do with TJV tactics ..more to do with Roglic was on it and UAE were behind
  3. McNulty was not as strong as hoped ...no one could have known this to be true 100% at that point in the race
  4. After the descent other teams rode and Roglic sat on and benefited ...TJV were lucky here
5. UAE had let Hirschi up the road when he should have stayed back ...not TJV tactics
  1. Roglic was so strong...little to do with tactics
  2. Roglic benefited from Gaudu and Carty being able to keep up and then take turns.....not TJV tactics
  3. Behind Pogacar had no one to help pull for most of the race ..except a few times but mostly had to do it himself Not again TJV tactics
So far that is an accumulation of events that TJV tactics did not really influence

Tactics work well in cycling but all teams are at the mercy of many teams tactics
I dont think Chris Horner is an ***. he is bringing entertainment to the sport and his views are as legitimate as anyones...more so than some. Entertainment is about controversy

There have been many occasions when we have wondered what TJV were up to in races and the same for Movistar
They do make questionable decisions at times... But yesterday they benefited without being the masters of tactics ..mostly because they had the strongest rider and were int he right place and the right time..serendipity
 
At what point in the race? A km mark would be nice. As I see it, once they were on the descent, with or without McNulty, Pogi had no chance whatsoever of bridging across.
The whole race up to that point. And perhaps he would not have bridged, but I think using TP to provide cover for McNulty was a mistake. TP would need to react based on what he needed to do, and not check with the DS.

It may have made no difference. And it is not like I was rooting for UAE. But I do think that was a mistake that cost a second or two, and that is all it takes.
 
Cycling is not and has never been a 2 team affair of tactics as Tour of the Basque country has shown

  1. The giving away of the jersey was not intentional. It was accidental so none can claim that as superb tactics by TJV and in other circumstances on stage 6 it may have proved a terrible mistake
  2. The split on the descent was caused by Astana not TJV and that was where the race was lost ..little to do with TJV tactics ..more to do with Roglic was on it and UAE were behind
  3. McNulty was not as strong as hoped ...no one could have known this to be true 100% at that point in the race
  4. After the descent other teams rode and Roglic sat on and benefited ...TJV were lucky here
5. UAE had let Hirschi up the road when he should have stayed back ...not TJV tactics
  1. Roglic was so strong...little to do with tactics
  2. Roglic benefited from Gaudu and Carty being able to keep up and then take turns.....not TJV tactics
  3. Behind Pogacar had no one to help pull for most of the race ..except a few times but mostly had to do it himself Not again TJV tactics
So far that is an accumulation of events that TJV tactics did not really influence

Tactics work well in cycling but all teams are at the mercy of many teams tactics
I dont think Chris Horner is an champion. he is bringing entertainment to the sport and his views are as legitimate as anyones...more so than some. Entertainment is about controversy

There have been many occasions when we have wondered what TJV were up to in races and the same for Movistar
They do make questionable decisions at times... But yesterday they benefited without being the masters of tactics ..mostly because they had the strongest rider and were int he right place and the right time..serendipity
I mostly agree. With point 3 the only caveat I would add is that McNulty, TP, and UAE should have had a bit more insight into strengths and limitations, and the threats the course and the teams presented, and went with a slightly different strategy. Cost them a second or two in decision making, which is all it takes.
 
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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.
To the bolded, ummm, nope.

To be clear, I don't think they get some sort of major "fail ... fire all of them" silliness, that is just Horner speak because entertaining comments get clicks. But it was not a masterpiece of tactics. They shipped more time then they would have liked, by a longshot, and had to rely on luck and a super on-form PR to win the race. You don't let other potential competitors in the race to that extent. They did not know how McNulty would go, or that TP would ride so much for cover for McNulty, or that Astana would do what they did. Had UAE used McNulty differently, and TP simply stayed on PR's wheel, it could have ended dramatically differently.

TJV benefitted from a lot of luck. That is also racing, but they don't get extra props for it as well.
 
@Libertine Seguros

Both your situations start with "you have Pogačar on your wheel".

Hell no!

@RedheadDane

Indeed, tacticians must have had such outcomes in their mind. Stretching their backs and flexing the legs a bit, before saying OK, that is just about right ...

When the tables turn, yes, Pogačar basically has the same problem with Roglič. All in all i can go with the "popular explanation" it was all Roglič, for me that works just fine.

P.S. Said that, people that have a sweet tooth for some master class tactics involved, watch replays of the whole race. As a prequel i recommend a dosage of TDF 2020 replays.
 
Indeed, tacticians must have had such outcomes in their mind. Stretching their backs and flexing the legs a bit, before saying OK, that is just about right ...
And then just one of those scenarious could have played out differently, and the exact same choice could've been a total disaster. I just don't see how "gambling on several different scenarious playing out just right simultaneously" translates into "tactical masterpiece". Of course, "the winner is always right", and in future-years, when people look at the results, all they'll see is that Jumbo-Visma went 1-2 in the GC, and took (nearly) all the jersys, not the Best Basque Rider for... obvious reasons.

Why is it so terrible to admit that Jumbo screwed up on stage 4, but - rather impressively - were able to turn things around and still get away with the win?
 
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