Teams & Riders Tadej Pogačar discussion thread

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A very good explanation. I would add that if you have teammates they can cover the attacks. There are several ways to do this. In the simplest implementation, you just use your teammates as dampers so you have to do much less accelerations. A more advanced option (which is not always feasible) would be to heave one of your teammates (preferably quite high in GC - let’s say Kruiswijk or Kuss) follow the attacker (Pogacar) threatening to drop him once he gets tired and gaining GC advantage over him thus forcing him to attack more carefully. In the meantime you have you diesel-engine teammate (let’s say WvA) bring you back or at least keep you relatively close so you can bridge yourself once the attacker is tired.

There are of course different variations how to deploy your team in the climb and not all of them are feasible. For instance, TJV might not have a guy that is close in GC and at the same time is capable of following Pogacars attack. Kuss could have the acceleration to follow but will not be a GC threat to Pogi while WvA and Kruijswijk should be a GC threat but are both diesels incapable of following Tadej’s accelerations. Ineos could be better of in this respect because they have explosive GC threat guy (Caracaz if in form) which could cover attacks for G…

Edit: and another important thing - as @johnymax already hinted, if the attacker is too strong all these fancy tactical options won’t do a thing. Then you still have Kuss pace you up the Angliru and saving you a couple of seconds that you can use to win la Vuelta one week later…
A classic micro-moment played out at LBL at 12km where Pogacar followed the front guys that made the final selection. Roglic had settled behind Tadej's teammate (who was behind Pogi) with another UAE rider on the centerline just as the road ramped up. Roglic couldn't see the action because of the increased road pitch and Tadej's teammate in front of him. When he recognized the building gap; he had to negotiate himself out of the UAE congestion to chase and the race was lost on that 10 seconds. It's not legal to "block" an opponent but and they did nothing incorrect. If the opponent is not paying attention you can ride your line at your pace and allow him to take the long route. That sort of extra effort x 20 stages is as tiring mentally as physically. Add that to the other great points made above.