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Team tactics - Giro (no doping please)

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Mar 18, 2009
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Clearly Di Luca, like Menchov, didn't see Leipheimer's move as a sign of strength but one of desperation - certainly if Leipheimer was confident about being in the MR after the TT (as Armstrong assumes) he wouldn't be wasting anything at this stage. But the TT is not the cut and dried thing everyone assumes - there's a lot of descending, something that the peloton knows Leipheimer is not great at. Ultimately, a panic move only gives heart to the opposition.

As for today's stage - how many corners in 155kms?
 
Mar 10, 2009
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ingsve said:
Huh? His quote was that there was NO panic when LL attacked. How did you turn that into him thinking it was a concern?

Concern was perhaps the wrong word. What I was stressing was how seemingly dismissive DiLuca’s comment towards Rogers was.

The main benefit with a break like that is that you send your number 2 guys in the break so that the other teams are forced to waste energy to bring them back which will help your main rider in the long run because the other teams get more tired while your main guy can just come along for the ride.

I understand national pride and have no problem rooting for fellow countrymen, but if you think Columbia, and a number of other teams, thinks Rogers is the #2, then you are being somewhat naive.

Consider the reaction in Liquigas had Pellizotti dragged, strike that, worked with Rogers up the road to a minute gap over Basso? Certainly not chocolate and strawberries.

It is just goofy pretending Rogers is the "no threat" super domestique that Horner is. Matter of fact, it is goofy thinking Horner is "no threat" as well.

Leipheimer attacking makes no sense at all. Thinking it was a good opportunity to gain some time was just ludicrous. It hurt him more in every way which was blatantly obvious imo.

Look at the results from stage 8 – look carefully. In the leading group, Diluca and Sastre were isolated. Astana and Diquigiovanni had six riders, Columbia had five, Lampre, Rabobank and Liquigas had only two. Look at the replay of Col del Gallo – Pellizotti, Garzelli and Rogers are the firepower. Cunego was yo-yoing off the back, and Horner was sucking wheel. Leipheimer animated the peloton, dragging Boasson Hagen up (if you look carefully you will see Siutsou and Seeldrayers trying to hang with Levi). So a real chase was on, and several teams showed thread-bare. With the upcoming crit and rest day, Levi would have essentially two days to recover. So tell me again, who really was hurt?
 
benpounder said:
I understand national pride and have no problem rooting for fellow countrymen, but if you think Columbia, and a number of other teams, thinks Rogers is the #2, then you are being somewhat naive.

I was talking strictly from GC placement. Using the "number 2 guy" is perhaps the wrong word. More suitable would be to say it in terms of sending off one of your top GC guys when you have 2 to chose from.

benpounder said:
Consider the reaction in Liquigas had Pellizotti dragged, strike that, worked with Rogers up the road to a minute gap over Basso? Certainly not chocolate and strawberries.

It is just goofy pretending Rogers is the "no threat" super domestique that Horner is. Matter of fact, it is goofy thinking Horner is "no threat" as well.

I'm not saying any of them was no threat. If they were no threat then the tactical advantage of sending them off would be lost and it would only be another run of the mill breakaway. As for how Pellizotti acted in the breakaway that is another tactical issue that only applies after the break has formed and does not really matter in who went in the break to begin with.


benpounder said:
Look at the results from stage 8 – look carefully. In the leading group, Diluca and Sastre were isolated. Astana and Diquigiovanni had six riders, Columbia had five, Lampre, Rabobank and Liquigas had only two. Look at the replay of Col del Gallo – Pellizotti, Garzelli and Rogers are the firepower. Cunego was yo-yoing off the back, and Horner was sucking wheel. Leipheimer animated the peloton, dragging Boasson Hagen up (if you look carefully you will see Siutsou and Seeldrayers trying to hang with Levi). So a real chase was on, and several teams showed thread-bare. With the upcoming crit and rest day, Levi would have essentially two days to recover. So tell me again, who really was hurt?

It certainly wasn't Menchov, Basso or Di Luca that was hurt. Was it the domestiques that had to work to get the break back? Yes, sligtly. Or was it the big GC favourite who is the one who ultmately has to match the other favourites in the next two weeks? Well, he certainly didn't gain anything from it. The benefit of having the domestiques working to bring the break back was already achieved by Horner so there was no added benefit of also Leipheimer attacking.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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ingsve said:
It certainly wasn't Menchov, Basso or Di Luca that was hurt. Was it the domestiques that had to work to get the break back? Yes, sligtly. Or was it the big GC favourite who is the one who ultmately has to match the other favourites in the next two weeks? Well, he certainly didn't gain anything from it.

One of the things the Lance era showed was the importance of a strong team throughout the entire tour. Would Sastre have won last year's TdF were it not for the Schleck bros? Did Cadel Evans have the help he needed the year before? Were there worries when Lance was isolated on stage 8 of the 2005 TdF?

Seems the complaint against Leipheimer is that he hurt himself. Well even before today's stage was neutralized first by the organizers then the riders themselves (was I clairvoyant or what), Levi knew he would have two days to recover. You state, “he certainly didn't gain anything from it.” Mostly true. But it revealed chinks in certain teams. More importantly, had Levi not attacked, he wouldn’t have had even the chance to make gains.

Obviously, I think it was a great move in terms of risk-reward. Cunego and Garzelli, no longer real GC threats, were highly motivated for a stage win. Pellizotti and Arroyo highly motivated for either a stage win or moving up in GC. Horner in the group. Col del Gallo is a nice little cat 2 climb requiring some, but not race-threatening effort (he wasn’t going to blow himself up ala Contador in P-N). In fact, the situation probably looked even better to Levi with Boassen Hagen and initially Sivtsov with him – a group of at least 6 riders willing to work together to put time on everyone else.

The real wildcard was Pellizotti. What the hell was he doing working with Rogers – that my friend, makes little sense!
 
Well, we simply disagree about Leipheimers part in this

Given that they already had the benefit of having the other teams domestiques working even without Leipheimer attacking and given that it was almost 100% certain that any break like that would get pulled back no matter what I'd say that overall it was, in poker terms, negative expected value on his move.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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I can't but agree with ingsve's points.

I wonder what would have happened if Levi didn't brigde across. Probably they would have reeled it in, but still an interesting speculation.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Leopejo said:
I wonder what would have happened if Levi didn't brigde across. Probably they would have reeled it in, but still an interesting speculation.
That is where I fundamentally disagree. Were is just Garzelli, Pellizotti, Horner, and #3 Rogers, the peloton would react the same way as they did when #4 Leipheimer joined.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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ingsve said:
Exactly, so why should Leipheimer waste energy when it wouldn't change the outcome in any way?

Because if anyone was not up to it they would of lost the chase to him and lost time right there, possibly ending some GC hopeful's chances of staying in contension. As they say, that is why they race it and not just jot it down on paper, it allows mistakes and choices to be made. I just hope more GC hopefulls do something to shake things up.

I love it when the rest complain that Levi wasted energy, yea well he made the rest waste energy as well in chasing him, maybe not as much? But they had to work to get up to him because they're scared of losing time, otherwise they'd of let him go plain and simple. They complain because he put some hurt on them, not saying they went all out just that they had to keep an eye out and possibly got caught out for a moment.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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ingsve said:
Exactly, so why should Leipheimer waste energy when it wouldn't change the outcome in any way?

Because if he didnt, he would have no chance to change the outcome.

You still think of it as wasted energy. Did Thomas Lovkvist waste energy today securing Cavendish's stage win? What did he risk to secure that? (and just where was Columbia's #2 rider?)
 
benpounder said:
Because if he didnt, he would have no chance to change the outcome.

You still think of it as wasted energy. Did Thomas Lovkvist waste energy today securing Cavendish's stage win? (and just where was Columbia's #2 rider?)

Both Lövkvist and Rogers helped out in the final kilometers today and no I don't think that was a good tactical move either. Did you think I was going to change my view just because today it was Lövkvist and Rogers? I don't care who it is. We're talking about what's good tactics or not here not which riders we like or not...I keep those things separate and stay objective.
 
ElChingon said:
I love it when the rest complain that Levi wasted energy, yea well he made the rest waste energy as well in chasing him, maybe not as much? But they had to work to get up to him because they're scared of losing time, otherwise they'd of let him go plain and simple. They complain because he put some hurt on them, not saying they went all out just that they had to keep an eye out and possibly got caught out for a moment.

What you're missing is that the break had already formed when Levi attacked so the other teams already had to chase no matter what. Levi attacking didn't change anything.

We're talking tactics here and when we look at Levis options he could, just as he did, attack and bridge to the break or he could do like Menchov and Di Luca and just sit back and wait. Comparing those tactics it's clear to me that attacking was the least favourable of the two.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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ingsve said:
What you're missing is that the break had already formed when Levi attacked so the other teams already had to chase no matter what. Levi attacking didn't change anything.

We're talking tactics here and when we look at Levis options he could, just as he did, attack and bridge to the break or he could do like Menchov and Di Luca and just sit back and wait. Comparing those tactics it's clear to me that attacking was the least favourable of the two.

So either way the whinners had to chase, they could of let it go and given up time to the chase but once Levi took off they had no choice! They had to reel it in!
 
Mar 10, 2009
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ingsve said:
Did you think I was going to change my view just because today it was Lövkvist and Rogers...
I did not see Rogers there, but I will take your word. That you acknowledge it dubious for GC contenders to fight out for sprint honors is good enough for me.
 
ElChingon said:
So either way the whinners had to chase, they could of let it go and given up time to the chase but once Levi took off they had no choice! They had to reel it in!

No, with Pellizotti, Horner, Rogers and Arroyo in the break they had to bring it back no matter what. They are not riders you just let go. There was 0% chance that the break was getting anywhere after the climb and it was still 0% when Leipheimer joined.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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ingsve said:
There was 0% chance that the break was getting anywhere after the climb and it was still 0% when Leipheimer joined.

To quibble, there was little chance the break was going to get away, and even littler when Leipheimer joined.

There was a 0% chance that Levi could make up time...
but only if he didnt try.
 
May 15, 2009
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Anyone noticed that when Chris Horner paced that breakaway, LL was at the back struggling to keep up (on the climb) and also on the descent. Horner's pace was a little bit too fast for him. Seems like a sign for me, and I also think that massive ITT on stage 12 isn't tailor-made for him and Basso (or probably DiLuca and Sastre) will be on par with him. Astana's management should think about Horner as an another GC man for them.

Sastre is a wise old dog-hopefully his team haven't spent their energy and will be a serious threat to Liquigas and Astana.

As for Tuesday' stage, that mountain before finish has some sections with 10,14, 15 percent- gaps between favorites can be created by a strong team pulling at the front.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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Delicato said:
Anyone noticed that when Chris Horner paced that breakaway, LL was at the back struggling to keep up (on the climb) and also on the descent. Horner's pace was a little bit too fast for him. Seems like a sign for me, and I also think that massive ITT on stage 12 isn't tailor-made for him and Basso (or probably DiLuca and Sastre) will be on par with him. Astana's management should think about Horner as an another GC man for them.

Sastre is a wise old dog-hopefully his team haven't spent their energy and will be a serious threat to Liquigas and Astana.

As for Tuesday' stage, that mountain before finish has some sections with 10,14, 15 percent- gaps between favorites can be created by a strong team pulling at the front.


Not sure, reckon Levi looks OK, but it certainly showed the fine form Horner has ATM.
 
Delicato said:
Anyone noticed that when Chris Horner paced that breakaway, LL was at the back struggling to keep up (on the climb) and also on the descent. Horner's pace was a little bit too fast for him. Seems like a sign for me, and I also think that massive ITT on stage 12 isn't tailor-made for him and Basso (or probably DiLuca and Sastre) will be on par with him. Astana's management should think about Horner as an another GC man for them.

Sastre is a wise old dog-hopefully his team haven't spent their energy and will be a serious threat to Liquigas and Astana.

As for Tuesday' stage, that mountain before finish has some sections with 10,14, 15 percent- gaps between favorites can be created by a strong team pulling at the front.
'

Well, LL had just bridged the gap up to the breakaway which ought to indicate he was going close to the limit and was probably just flustered from that effort.
 
Apr 1, 2009
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I think all the teams did pretty well. LPR, Liquigas and Columbia expending the most energy so far.
I think Liquigas can neutralise that if Pellizotti would work for Basso. Then Basso wouldn't have to take up the pacemaking with still a long way to go as was the case at San Martino di Castrozza.
Di Luca has Bosisio who has been doing a great job, but come the third week, he might be spent.
Astana is in really good position with Horner looking super strong. Also, if JB allows Popo to work for Levi, rather than look after LA, Levi should also have great support.
Rabo-Menchov looks the biggest favorite with Basso right now, but Ten Dam isn't as strong as the domestiques from other teams, I think the Russian might be isolated on the stage to Monte Petrano (16).
Columbia-along with LPR, they dominated the Giro so far. They might be a bit tired come the third week though. I expect Rogers and Lovkvist to do a strong TT, but then lose time in the stages to Vesuvius and Monte Petrano. A top 5 for either would surprise me.
I can't see Garmin winning anything in a sprint with Farrar. Cav and AleJet are too strong right now. Maybe something from a breakaway but with who?
Diquigiovanni already have a stage win, and they might get another from Serpa or Scarponi. Meybe even Gibo on Vesuvius, if he can ride himself into form.
Rest of the teams have to show themselves yet. Katusha with Pozzatto has to get something.
 
Zoncolan said:
I expect Rogers and Lovkvist to do a strong TT, but then lose time in the stages to Vesuvius and Monte Petrano. A top 5 for either would surprise me.

Ya, after the time trial is the crucial time for Lövkvist to see wether he can last the full distance of a GT yet. I would agree that a top 5 finish would be above expectations even from this starting point but if he finishes in the top 10 with the white jersey I'm more than happy.
 
Apr 1, 2009
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ingsve said:
Ya, after the time trial is the crucial time for Lövkvist to see wether he can last the full distance of a GT yet. I would agree that a top 5 finish would be above expectations even from this starting point but if he finishes in the top 10 with the white jersey I'm more than happy.

Then I expect you'll be a happy man when they finish in Rome.
I can't see him finishing lower than 9th or 10th, and I sure as hell can't see who can take the Maglia Bianca off him.
 
Delicato said:
As for Tuesday' stage, that mountain before finish has some sections with 10,14, 15 percent- gaps between favorites can be created by a strong team pulling at the front.

Yes, it's got a couple of very uneven kilometers in the middle (profile). But with Sestriere mostly being a gentle climb this will not be the really serious mountain stage it should have been. Sestriere is not worthy as Cima Coppi..

I think more can happen in stage 16 than tomorrow.
 

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