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Johann bruyneel as a DS.

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Jun 9, 2009
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Many on this thread have mentioned the brilliance of Guimard, and he deserves the praise based on his results and the accolades he receives from riders who have been in his camp.

If JB does take second to Guimard, then he is the winningest active ProTour DS and second most winning ever.

If a DS recruits superior talent, hones them into a team with a singular purpose, avoids scandals (other than finger-pointing and rumor), and delivers victories almost every year for a decade in cycling's marquis event then he can be considered a tactical genius.

This coming season will tell much. He doesn't have the clear favorite and will have to rely on some clever tactics to win another TdF.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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Race Radio said:
You asked "where is the evidence of tactical genius" and I referred you to Hinault's biography. The Badger was one of, if not the, greatest tacticians in the history of the sport. He says he learned it from Guimard

You might be able to say that The Hog and Guimard have similar results if you take out all of of Guimard's monument wins and replace them with The Tour of Missouri and Redlands.

I have seen little evidence of the Hog's tactical brilliance in the car, outside of the car is a different story. He is very astute politically and knows how to get his team "Prepared" for the big races.

I did not ask where the evidence of tactical genius was? That was what the thread started with. There was never a question about who was the best. You started with the "not even close" comment and I responded that they seemed to have similar evidence of "genius".

Now when you say that Hinault was perhaps the greatest tactician in the history of the sport I could wonder if Guimard was the genius or Hinault.:)
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Moose McKnuckles said:
You do realize he wasn't the DS at the Giro and Vuelta, right?
But one cannot deny the fact that he's an exceptional tactician. The guy understands cycling.
Paying other teams to help is a tactic that Bruyneel used to good effect. Lotto in the 2005 Giro and Acqua Sapone in the 2002 Vuelta.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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tatical genius - yes
team manager/looking after ALL riders - no

i remember an interview with Benoit Joachim saying before Armstrong, JB would ring up all the riders to see how they were going and manage the riders programs. Once armstrong came that all stopped and JB became arrogant and ignorant and would only care about LA and the tour. i think he said that's why he said he left.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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David Suro said:
Add to that impressive list:

0 riders on his watch suspended for infractions

Gianpaolo Mondini

David Suro said:
Like it or not, his list of accomplishments is without parallel.

Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of cycling will laugh at that and
respond Cyrille Guimard.


Race Radio said:
The Hog does not even come close, but he has been better at inventing a myth.

Just one? :p
 
One thing no one has mentioned is that nearly all of the teams Johan managed, and won with, had some of the highest budgets and payrolls, often the very highest, in the sport.

It's like saying Joe Torre was the greatest baseball manager ever, as he won four World Series in five years coaching the NY Yankees. Well, when you have that big of a payroll, and that powerful of players, the odds of you winning go way, way up.

In NFL Football former Houston Oilers coach Bum Phillips once said about Miami Dolphin Don Shula that "He could beat you with his players, or you could switch teams and he could beat you with your players". Shula is the winningest coach in NFL history (and arguably retired early).

I'd like to see what Johan can do with a team like BBox or AG2R before declaring him a tactical genius.
 
A

Anonymous

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Alpe d'Huez said:
One thing no one has mentioned is that nearly all of the teams Johan managed, and won with, had some of the highest budgets and payrolls, often the very highest, in the sport.

It's like saying Joe Torre was the greatest baseball manager ever, as he won four World Series in five years coaching the NY Yankees. Well, when you have that big of a payroll, and that powerful of players, the odds of you winning go way, way up.

In NFL Football former Houston Oilers coach Bum Phillips once said about Miami Dolphin Don Shula that "He could beat you with his players, or you could switch teams and he could beat you with your players". Shula is the winningest coach in NFL history (and arguably retired early).

I'd like to see what Johan can do with a team like BBox or AG2R before declaring him a tactical genius.

actually I mentioned in my first post that when Johan started at Postal they were not considered a big team at all.

i actually predicted that people would talk down his results because of the budget issue. the fact is, he started with a small team and built a reputation.

he took what he had, started recruiting, and then became what he is today.

as i said, i believe his credit goes to recruiting the right people. armstrong and contador, when they signed under bruyneel were both considered outside contenders, not really considered favourites in 99 and 07, yet with his team strategy he pulled off the win.

Mountain Goat said:
And before people start saying that he only recruited the best becuase he was given the sponsorship money then thats BS becoz US postal were a small budget professional team before he came along. he was not handed money, he proved that by recruiting solid united team helpers all working for one leader, a GT can be won.
 
Seems to me this post was seeking PROOF of JB's tactical genius and frankly no one has offered samples of races, stages, etc. that demonstrate his TACTICAL skill. I think this is because of the nature of how he has focused his career as a DS (and now as team manager) around a singular goal: the TdF. And GT's are unlike the classics or one day races, in that the tactics are often dictated by the course and the goals of the other teams on a particular day (sprinter's teams vs. stage hunters vs. visibility seekers vs. overall contenders); whereas the classics/one day races are all about WINNING that singular day. IMHO, the level of tactical planning and adjustment is significantly higher in the classics/single day races than in a GT.

What I think is fair to conclude about JB is that he is a phenomenal talent scout and understands how to utilize the talent available to him to build a winning GT team. Frankly I think that will be tested this year in a way we've never seen before. Arguably with the exception of the 1999 TdF, has he ever been to the Tour without the strongest stage rider in the peloton? And I was just thinking/reminding myself of the supposed radio ban. How good is JB (or Lance for that matter) without a radio?

And similarly this is why Lance Armstrong is considered the greatest TdF rider ever, but not the greatest cyclist--his body of work is too narrow to be considered.
 
Mountain Goat said:
as i said, i believe his credit goes to recruiting the right people. armstrong and contador, when they signed under bruyneel were both considered outside contenders, not really considered favourites in 99 and 07, yet with his team strategy he pulled off the win.

Curious, what was the team strategy in 2007 that pulled it off? And I think it is important we distinguish between a STRATEGY and a TACTIC.

From wikipedia (because it's late here in the States):

A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. Strategy deals with the how part rather than the what. The word strategy has military connotations, because it derives from the Greek word for general.[1]
Strategy is distinct from tactics. In military terms, tactics is concerned with the conduct of an engagement while strategy is concerned with how different engagements are linked. In other words, how a battle is fought is a matter of tactics: the terms that it is fought on and whether it should be fought at all is a matter of strategy.

And just to bring it back to the OP's question, what were the superior tactics that JB employed in 1999 and 2007 to win those respective TdF's?

IMO, his strategy was to have the strongest rider prevail over the course of 3 weeks and 3,000+kms of racing by winning or outperforming the other GT contenders at the TT, the TTT (if one was available), and win the first MTF and defend on the rest (hi-tempo riding to shred the peloton and discourage attacks). I didn't see the 99 TdF, so I can't comment on the tactics he employed throughout the race to ensure that his strategy was achieved. I watched 2007. I didn't see evidence of tactical genius. I saw a confluence of extraordinary talent emerging (AC) and extraordinary events taking place (Rabobank kicking Rasmussen out of the TdF after he had all but sown up the race), that resulted in him achieving his strategy.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Thank you publicus, this was exactly my point in posting. I'm still waiting for one example of tactical genius and it has yet to be provided. I never doubted his success as DS, just don't think of him as a genius.
 
Jul 28, 2009
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CentralCaliBike said:
9 TdF wins as DS - 2 Giro - 2 Vuelta - 3 Tour de Georgia - 1 Volta a Catalunya - 2 Tour of Austria - 1 Paris-Nice - 4 Tour of California - 1 Tour of Missouri.

Some of the highlights (and I am not certain that it is current).

He is a brilliant DS no doubt. As he was a very good rider, because he was smart, not beacuse he was strong enough.

As examples of his competence though, it's a little bit ridiculous to mention races such as Tour de Georgia, Austria, California or Missouri:rolleyes:
During his TdF win streak, he has shown many times his skills. The passage de Gois in the 99 Tour, the bluff in Alpe d'Huez in 2001, the havoc the did passing the cobblestones in 2004's stage to Wasquehal, the Team time-trials...

Anyway there are others DS who are quite successful themselves. What can you say about Lefevere? He had won the Northern Classics in every possible way. What can you say about Guimard? What can you say about Alain Gallopin? LA had conceded almost 2' to Ullrich in 2003's TdF time trial to Gap-Decouvert because the French had organized an air-conditioned warm-up for the German. He was the DS in Basso's Giro win. He was the closest person to Contador last season and his DS in the Giro win.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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c'mon people. wasn't sending popo and zubeldia into extending that gap to the major contenders in the last tour..wasn't that a sign of the tactical genius?:)

or was that a sign of a treachery genius? I guess it depends on whether your name is contador or armstrong.

that's all there is to this thread, imo..

'cept bruyneel is an experienced savvy ds whose ability to read the race is nothing special compared to other good ds's. he is probably superior as a politician and communicator and he was lucky to forge right relations at the right time - both within the uci and the peloton in general.

a better question to ask - would armstrong, contador, levi, kloden etc be great riders with multiple wins outside bru led teams? the answer i am afraid is - most certainly.
 
Looking through this thread, nobody has mentioned Echavarri/Unzue with Reynolds/Banesto/Caisse d'Epargne. 7 Tours, 2 Giros, 3 maybe more Vueltas. Surely that record is comparable with Bruyneels and Guimard. Personally I dont give much credit to the DS when they have the most talented rider on the team. A sign of a great DS would be one who could win with a lesser rider.

I would give kudos to Bruyneel for convinving Lance to go for the Tour in 99 and with a pretty weak team but after that it was down to Lance and a big team budget. How anyone can give Bruyneel credit for Contadors victory year is beyond me, he almost f**ked the whole thing up. Just think if Contador had not been there, Astana may not have had a Tour victory.

The role of the DS is highly over-rated, especially Bruyneel and this is reflected in the fact nobody seems to know or recognise Echavarri/Unzue.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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balkou said:
The passage de Gois in the 99 Tour, the bluff in Alpe d'Huez in 2001,
.

Riding on the front is not what I would consider tactical genius. The only people bluffed in 2001 were the TV commentators. Telekom had figured out Postal's radio frequency and they knew Armstrong was not in trouble. Like most of what Armstrong and The Hog do it was more about creating an image then reality.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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the tactical genius is smuggling the blood 'cross borders. The mobile pathology labs and blood couriers. The dope really did screw with tactics. When you have 20 odd riders at the bottom of the final ascent on the queen stage, all together, and perhaps six from one team, the tactical permutations have been eviscerated by the Ferraris of the sport.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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One measure of how great a DS' is if riders respect you. Most of The Hog's former riders hate him.

Paolo Savoldelli
“As soon as he joined Astana, I decided to leave. He still owes me my share of the prize money from the 2005 Tour we won with Discovery. Also, he was just never honest with me,” said Savoldelli.

Vasseur, Andreu, and Vaughters were also cheated out of their cut of the pize money. Benoit Joachim said "Johan Bruyneel's great gift is that he's a liar". It is hard to ignore the completely childish and unprofessional manner in which he dealt with AC this year.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Bruyneel is cuckolded with Armstrong. When he had the opportunity to win another 10 GTs with pistolero, he throws his lot in with chez StrongArm. But Big Tex is old, and is gonna father more kids with more babymamas than Shawn Kemp before he wins another race. Off the Governors office for you Prance! And Bruyneel can retire to the Iberian peninsula with Eva Marie.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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blackcat said:
Bruyneel is cuckolded with Armstrong. When he had the opportunity to win another 10 GTs with pistolero, he throws his lot in with chez StrongArm. But Big Tex is old, and is gonna father more kids with more babymamas than Shawn Kemp before he wins another race. Off the Governors office for you Prance! And Bruyneel can retire to the Iberian peninsula with Eva Marie.

Could be. But what would happen if Astana didn't get a Pro-tour License, the team would be split and he would be hunting for a job. He wants to do things on his terms. Whether that is recruiting, managing the Peleton, or the riders on his teams. I personally think his switch to Radioshack is simply going to a team with secure sponsorship. The baggage for a US sponsored team is LA.

Back to the thread, great manager but very little support to being great with tactics. However, do you need to have great tactics if you are controlling the race day to day?
 
Jun 23, 2009
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Race Radio said:
Johann did not drive the Giro wins

He is missing race the relies heavy on tactics and not who has the biggest engine.

He didn't want Contador to win the Giro and he gave a weak team to Paolo Savoldelli because he didn't expect him to win.