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George looking good on the Manayunk Wall, but ...(17 posts)

George looking good on the Manayunk Wall, but ...Pecos
Jun 9, 2002 5:00 PM
he didn't have the stuff to finish strong. This was the last climb up the Manayunk Wall today in Philly at the US Pro Championship. George was looking strong and in perfect position to take the jersey, but as he has done so many times recently, he just didn't take the initiative to be a winner. I like George, but I am not sure he has the killer instinct required to be a top contender. The eventual winner is the Canadian National Champ, Mark Walters and behind George is Chann McRae who finished second. Chann took a chance and went for the break with Walters. It paid off and he is now our National Champ. Freddie Rodriquez did not finish nor did any of his Domo teammates. I'm not sure what happened.
re: George looking good on the Manayunk Wall, but ...khockey19
Jun 9, 2002 5:10 PM
actualy the Prime Alliance rider seen a few placea back has won the American Jersey since McRae is also Canadian...
Maybe you should reference these ;o)Pecos
Jun 9, 2002 5:17 PM

Official resultsPecos
Jun 9, 2002 5:23 PM

Notice the bottom notation ...
Official resultsNeedSpeed
Jun 9, 2002 7:13 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of George. In the final full lap, Postal had five riders including Hincapie at the front. In the final climb up The Wall, Postal led the shredded peleton. Between that first short lap and the bell lap, Postal was attacking and trying to soften up the leaders. But on the last lap, just off Lemon Hill, Danny Pate attacked and George, Chann and Walters got away with him. It seemed as though in other races, George had fewer teammates with him and always had to do the work alone. (2001 Paris Roubaix and the Domo team) Not THIS time. Chann matched Pate's attack and they made Pate do all the work. This was the time for George to jump, but he didn't have the legs OR the killer instinct. It was almost sad b/c the team had been working for him ALL DAY to deliver Hincapie to the line for the Stars and Stripes. But it wasn't to be. I was really pulling for George because I wanted to see him wear the national champion's jersey in the Tour de France. But Chann raced a hell of a race and earned it. The real workhorse for Postal was Michael Barry. Saturn definitely missed him. But it's time to ask: is George just a super domestique? He has never had the killer instinct and unless Lance, Frankie and Johan can pull it out of him, he'll never be a great rider. It's kinda sad.
is George a super domestiquelonefrontranger
Jun 9, 2002 7:36 PM
I'd have to say yes. The scuttlebutt I've heard from an elite guy who used to ride with him is that GH is a fabulous worker and very strong, but... unfortunately he ain't the sharpest tool in the shed if you know what I mean. He's only good tactically if he's got someone right there telling him what to do.
I'm coming to the same conclusionMcAndrus
Jun 10, 2002 5:14 AM
A few months ago we were discussing George and someone made the comparison to Max Sciandri - a huge load of talent but missing just that one element to take him over the top.

There was a quick post-race interview with George on VeloNews where he made a remark that surprised me. George and Chann were in the final break. Tactically, I'd expect Chann to keep attacking to soften the group, with George following the covers and counterattacks.

After one McRae attack - the winning one joined by Walters and Pate - George commented that he was waiting for the others in the break to close the gap. George actually seemed to be whining that no one else would help and, since it was a USPS guy in the break, he was obliged to just sit on.

(I've just taken a quick look at VeloNews and can't find the comment. It may not have made it into the final write-up.)

My take on that is that it's the same situation Museeuw faced with Servais Knaven in the 2001 Paris-Roubaix. Museeuw was the leader and Knaven was attacking to soften up Hincapie and Diercksens. But Knaven's attack worked. Museeuw then had two choices, bridge to Knaven himself (and risk bringing George and Ludo along) or sit on and defend for Knaven. Johan chose to work for Knaven.

George had this same choice yesterday: bridge himself or defend. From the comment I read he didn't seem to want to do either.

Now, it's easy for me to criticize on a Monday morning. But the tactical choice does seem odd.
Slow reactions...........Len J
Jun 10, 2002 5:29 AM
I certainly have never raced bikes, but I've followed racing closely for years. My impression of George is that his reactions to unexpected changes around him are very slow. He seems to lose concentration at key times in a race. Paris-Rabioux this year was a good example, when M made his move, George was caught napping at the back, Yesterday, McRae does a strong leadout for him that he misses & then whines about "defensive" cycling. If he'd been paying attention, he'd have followed the original break. Once he missed that, his only two choices were as you say.

I think that George need micro-management on the course, he's not mentally disciplined enough to stay in the moment. He seems to make the same mistakes over & over again.

The other thing I didn't understand is Why weren't McRae & George communicating? (Even through Andreau). VeloNews says:

"McRae took over on the last trip up Lemon Hill, still intent on setting up Hincapie. "I thought George was gonna be on my wheel, but when I started the descent, I was alone and thought, ‘Now what do I do?'" said McRae."

This is where George missed it. Knowing George's propensity, Why wasn't Andreau screaming at him? Lot's of questions's no answers.

Just an impression.

Slow reactions...........NeedSpeed
Jun 10, 2002 10:42 AM
Len, you are right. The story is still up by the way. Here's the link:

It's unbelievable that George was pissed because the rest of the lead group wasn't interested in bridging up to Pate after he attacked on Lemon Hill. Now if everyone riding in the race, all the DSs, and all of the fans ALL know that Postal is working for George to win the Stars and Stripes, why the hell would George NOT know he needed to make his move or follow McRae's move. On the 10th lap, Postal was sacrificing teammates left and right driving up the pace to reduce the field. George had two teammates with him at the front and in the lead group. What was he thinking? And how in the hell can he have the fire to cover multiple attacks in 2001 PR when he was outnumbered 3-1, but suddenly forget team tactics when Boonen was there with him in PR 2002 when Musseuw made his winning attack and then yesterday, forget to attack when Postal had him in the PERFECT spot. He had a leadout man, for God's sakes? I just can't believe it. I'd give anything to know what Frankie Andreu was saying (screaming? cursing?) when George forgot to follow McRae's leadout. Does anyone know if the San Francisco Grand Prix course is more demanding than USPRO? George was able to attack on the last lap and stay away. Is the Philly course and heat (85-87 degrees with lower humidity than last year) play a role in making the course much harder?

I must also say that Danny Pate is one heck of a rider. After attacking a mostly regional field in Baltimore at a race in Patterson Park a few weeks ago, sapping the legs of everyone but Davidinko, at USPRO he fought himself to a podium spot without any teammates in the final break, and AFTER being forced to pull because he had no one else to help. And also, Damon Kluck of Saturn (whom I met at the Saturn booth of an auto show in St. Louis) finished a strong ninth after also finishing top 10 at Redlands. Good guy. At least we all know that Chann earned the stars and stripes and will wear it proudly in the Tour de France.
Slow reactions...........Len J
Jun 10, 2002 10:59 AM
I wonder if he just doesn't go brain dead sometimes. Once he didn't follow McRae's lead, he was dead, unless someone else led the chase. You'd think he would have realized this.

I'm with you, I wish I had a tape of Frankie Andreu's "Instructions".

In P-R I think George's mistake, if you watch the tape, is that in the section of cobbles that Musseuw attacked, George was dead last in the group at the move. It almost looked like he got caught napping & didn't expect the cobbles. No way he was going to make up the gap on the cobbles. Once Musseuw was free, he & Boonan blew the group apart chasing, but honestly, I don't think anyone was going to catch Musseuw that day.

The US Pro is one time I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in the team car.

brain dead *all* the timelonefrontranger
Jun 10, 2002 11:10 AM
From what my source claims, he either fell on his head too many times when he was messengering, or he never had much upstairs to begin with.
Shame, he seems to have the physical talent. nmLen J
Jun 10, 2002 11:13 AM
sorry, but McRae is a US citizen, grew up in TexasTig
Jun 9, 2002 6:57 PM
I used to watch him race as a jr (in the 1,2,3's of course) with the Chili's team. He made a big name for himeself early on. I'm glad to see his hard work finally paid off for the world to see.
Sorry - That is McCrae on the front and ....Pecos
Jun 9, 2002 5:46 PM
Michael Barry on Georges wheel.
New US Cycling Champ Chann McCrae
re: George looking good on the Manayunk Wall, but ...NeedSpeed
Jun 10, 2002 4:35 AM
Pecos: I forgot to tell you: kick a$$ photo, man! The scene up on the wall was awesome. In the women's race, there was a rider who'd crashed and was about two minutes down from the leaders. She had a bloody knee and leg and was clearly hurting. I don't know for what team she rode, but she was just starting the second incline of The Wall, where the grade really kicks up. People were screaming encouragement for her and ringing the cowbells. It was an awesome experience. She dug deep as Phil and Paul would say and climbed out of the saddle and increased her cadence. The crowd had clearly given her some encouragement that she had taken to heart. To me, that's what part of USPRO is all about.
Thanks. Yeah, it does look like I ...Pecos
Jun 10, 2002 7:02 AM
was right in the middle of the road. I just about was too. The barracade on the side I was on was pushed out about 2 feet to make a spot for the marshal to stand. I found it on the last lap and got that pic. The best of my bunch. I really thought Goerge was bound for the Stars and Stripes after seeing him there. He was the only one who looked fresh and he had two teammates with him. They were there to work for him and he really blew it. I wonder how long the others will be willing to continue to do so if he keeps waisting opportunities like that and at P-R?
did you get hit right after this shotishmael
Jun 10, 2002 6:27 AM
nic pic.