• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.

    Thanks!

Vuelta a España Vuelta a España 2021: Stage 12 (Jaén - Cordoba, 175.0 km)

Page 10 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Bike Exchange have been a shambles inside the last km. Matthews had no hope as his lead out rider pulled off and left the gap in front of him. Once again they do too much work leading up to the sprint then get out jumped at the finish. Their sprint train obviously isn't strong enough to take it all the way and Matthews has lost some of his top end speed. Matthews would have been better off trying to win from the breaks as he is good enough for constant top five finishes in the bunch sprints but rarely gets close enough to win one at least this season.

Posted earlier in the thread that Schultz should have been allowed to ride his own race on the final climb - It's likely that he could have gone with the four leaders on the final climb - Then it's a different race with the break going to the line with Schultz probably being the fastest - This gives you a second option and makes the other teams bring back the break, while you sit in the wheels, which is exactly what EF did - You are right about sending Matthews or others into the break - Old School Tactics are you have one leader who by definition doesn't get into breaks - Getting into breaks makes it easier for the team and sets up opportunities in other stages - There will be significant off-season changes at Bike Exchange.
 
I couldn't agree more.
What have BEX done to win today? They left UAE chase the break, had a gazillion riders in the group even up the last climb but struggled to get organized, started chasing when it was incredibly late. Mezgec and Matthews then failed big in the sprint for whatever reason.

I'm not mocking them. I'm saying they were terrible in trying to achieve what they're telling us is their goal for this race: winning a stage with Matthews.

UAE was the only team really committed to win the stage today. Not BEX.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sandisfan
What else is Matthews gonna do if not contest stages like these? Its what hes paid for and its what gets them the most chances of a stage win.. ridicolous to mock BikeExchange. Id much rather see a race where the riders actually want to win instead of some random breakaway action and peloton rolling in 20 minutes after.

I think no-one is mocking that they try to win stages and often put a lot of effort into bringing the breaks back (even though not particularly today where UAE did most of the work). We are rather mocking that they always find a way to sabotage themselves and almost never profit from their own work.
 
If Matthews goes in the break without teammates, he has no chance to win the stage as all the other riders wouldn't want to get to the line with him. And he isn't Van Aert or Van der Poel who can just ride into the sunshine (also, and you can definitely fault him for that, that is not something he ever even tries).

I don't think they necessarily had the stage today as a target from the off and considering what happened yesterday, it was definitely reasonable that they didn't chase all day. Okay, then maybe they should have other guys in the breakaway but don't come telling me that having a lone Hamilton or Howson in a break of the day would give better chances than going for Matthews in a sprint.

Then they have seven riders still in the decimated group and because Matthews had been dropped on the hill, they couldn't get to the front until after the descent. It wasn't like they were deliberately waiting until the break was almost out of reach just for the lolz. Then Matthews made a wrong split-second decision when he decided to stay on the wheel of Mezgec who simply couldn't bridge back up to Bagioli's back wheel. And that was where he lost the stage. But saying that that incident is fool-hard proof of the fact that Matthews can never ever win a bike race ever again is just tiring and reminding of when people criticised Bora for working for Sagan on the stage in last year's Tour where he ended up being blocked in the sprint by Hugo Hofstetter. Such things can happen but they can't be used as proof that the team of the sprinter in question are in the wrong with their strategy.
 
What have BEX done to win today? They left UAE chase the break, had a gazillion riders in the group even up the last climb but struggled to get organized, started chasing when it was incredibly late. Mezgec and Matthews then failed big in the sprint for whatever reason.

I'm not mocking them. I'm saying they were terrible in trying to achieve what they're telling us is their goal for this race: winning a stage with Matthews.

UAE was the only team really committed to win the stage today. Not BEX.
The way I saw it, BEX and UAE followed a different approach to put their sprinter at the front group.
UAE chose to pull at the front during the climb and they got to the final kms with only 3 riders. The situation came to the point that during the descent Trentin did not think that was enough to chase the break and tried the nonsense of going solo.
BEX tried to keep as many riders as possible together (are they subscribing to Horner's youtube channel?). So they got distanced in the hard ramps climbing at the pace of their weakest man, but connected later on with 5 riders to support Matthews.
They made the biggest contribution to the chase in the flat and succeeded just because they had the numbers.
They failed big at the sprint, but I see no fault at what they had done before.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sandisfan
Then Matthews made a wrong split-second decision when he decided to stay on the wheel of Mezgec who simply couldn't bridge back up to Bagioli's back wheel. And that was where he lost the stage. But saying that that incident is fool-hard proof of the fact that Matthews can never ever win a bike race ever again is just tiring and reminding of when people criticised Bora for working for Sagan on the stage in last year's Tour where he ended up being blocked in the sprint by Hugo Hofstetter. Such things can happen but they can't be used as proof that the team of the sprinter in question are in the wrong with their strategy.

I've never felt that their strategy was wrong. Just that they are not very good at executing their strategy from beginning to end. With all the great work they did in the last kilometers, it was awful to watch how they messed up in the end.
 
If Matthews goes in the break without teammates, he has no chance to win the stage as all the other riders wouldn't want to get to the line with him. And he isn't Van Aert or Van der Poel who can just ride into the sunshine (also, and you can definitely fault him for that, that is not something he ever even tries).

I don't think they necessarily had the stage today as a target from the off and considering what happened yesterday, it was definitely reasonable that they didn't chase all day. Okay, then maybe they should have other guys in the breakaway but don't come telling me that having a lone Hamilton or Howson in a break of the day would give better chances than going for Matthews in a sprint.

Then they have seven riders still in the decimated group and because Matthews had been dropped on the hill, they couldn't get to the front until after the descent. It wasn't like they were deliberately waiting until the break was almost out of reach just for the lolz. Then Matthews made a wrong split-second decision when he decided to stay on the wheel of Mezgec who simply couldn't bridge back up to Bagioli's back wheel. And that was where he lost the stage. But saying that that incident is fool-hard proof of the fact that Matthews can never ever win a bike race ever again is just tiring and reminding of when people criticised Bora for working for Sagan on the stage in last year's Tour where he ended up being blocked in the sprint by Hugo Hofstetter. Such things can happen but they can't be used as proof that the team of the sprinter in question are in the wrong with their strategy.
It's not that they try to win stages, it's that they seem to go for Matthews in situations where being in the break yourself is probably a much better option.

That said, today riding for a spritn was the right call. Though I think Mezgec should have been given a shot by now considering Matthews can't hold his wheel in the leadout
 
With all the great work they did in the last kilometers, it was awful to watch how they messed up in the end.

I think their team had spent all they had on chasing the breakaway - after that the other teams could take advantage of it. EF Education for instance - who would not have taken the stage win today if it weren't for Bike Exchange and UAE. (While Cort yesterday missed the stage win because of Bike Exchange.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: search
Simply, BEX asks Schultz who has good legs to bridge to the leading group of 4 on the climb - They probably have the fastest rider in that group - They let other teams work to bring back the break and smoke their pipe - It took a determined effort from seven riders from TBE to bring back the break - I doubt other teams had the firepower - I'll also add that Matthews was struggling on the first climb BUT they still stuck with the same plan.

Anyway we see what tomorrow brings.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Red Rick
You can actually put riders in the break which makes it easier for the team and sets up other opportunities in 21 stage - For example if Matthews was in the break with Cort in stage 7 he would be the favorite to win - It's a matter of carefully deciding how you can win stages.

There is no way Matthews can keep up with a Cort on a climb while he is in this form.
 
You can actually put riders in the break which makes it easier for the team and sets up other opportunities in 21 stage - For example if Matthews was in the break with Cort in stage 7 he would be the favorite to win - It's a matter of carefully deciding how you can win stages.
Matthews got in a break at the Tour with Colbrelli and Aranburu, none of them won. I don't think Matthews really has the engine required for that sort of effort.
 

TRENDING THREADS