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Why would he do this?(31 posts)

Why would he do this?Len J
Jul 16, 2002 4:55 AM
According to an article in velonews, John Cobb is quoted as saying:

"On this pivotal stage, Armstrong eschewed his super-fast time trial suit with long sleeves and integrated gloves in favor of a short-sleeved suit. He once again used his new one-off flat Deda aluminum integrated stem/aero' bar. His rear disc appeared not to be a Mavic, although it was hard to tell what it was, and in a straight-on shot, it looked to be a flat disc. In the end, he ended up in second place on the stage and second place overall, at 26 seconds.

It was a very windy day, and, under such conditions, aerodynamic equipment makes even more difference than usual. According to Lance's aero' guru, John Cobb, "That prologue suit probably would have saved him 20 seconds over that course. And that time trial bar alone probably cost him 10 seconds versus the Hed carbon aero' bar (which the Deda was patterned from). That thing (the Deda bar) is really big (in frontal area)." Cobb did not know what rear wheel he chose but said, "If it was a flat disc instead of a lens-shaped one, he gave away a bunch more seconds there, too." "

I thought that you never give up time in a TT. All you TDF/Racing mavens out there, what gives?

re: Why would he do this?TJeanloz
Jul 16, 2002 5:02 AM
Well, in terms of what he wore, there could have been a mitigating circumstance, like maybe the chamois chafes unbelievably in that new suit, and he didn't want that pain (and potential future pain caused by it). Or it was too hot and he was worried about over-heating.

On the handlebar issue, he may well be nervous about changing his bars after the Lampre fiasco in the TTT.
Didn't he use the bars in the Prologue? nmLen J
Jul 16, 2002 5:12 AM
yes, and also in the TTT (nm)JS Haiku Shop
Jul 16, 2002 5:23 AM
He's a seasoned tech weenie...biknben
Jul 16, 2002 5:22 AM
Armstrong has been known to give up some of the newest gadgets to stay with what he knows and trusts.

In previous tours he used old Shimano pedals and a heavy old saddle. I remember people pointing out his retro front brake caliper on his Blade TT bike.

He certainly wasn't looking for ways to slow down. He's probably just choosing tried and true components rather than risking problems with stuff he's not familiar with. Sounds like a smart man to me. He's got plenty of time to make up what he may have lost.

Comfort was probably the driving factor in his choice of clothing for the TT.
Could this be some media spin also?PhatMatt
Jul 16, 2002 5:23 AM
Could this be some media spin also? I was also wondering if Lance is just playing his own game, in yesterdays ITT. Did he put himself just where he wanted to be so that he would not have to defend the Yellow Jersey or was he just beaten. I do not think we will ever totaly know. If he comes out and says I could have one but held back it will be yea sure whatever (like the Pantini incendent). Or I rode the best I could and he was just faster. Sure uhhh yea (just like holding back last year on the climb)

Based on some of his comments after the TT, I would sayJL
Jul 16, 2002 5:33 AM
Yes. He said something like "I didn't feel I was going 'fast' or 'all out'". He still said he was disappointed in not winning though. I think he wanted to hold something back for the mountains and was playing the 'media spin' afterwards. The longer he can hold off putting the team up front to defend the yellow, the better they will be when road turns UP later this week.

Long story short, I agree and think he was holding back a little and playing the psychological games with the media.

Happy riding.

How about this quote...Wayne
Jul 16, 2002 6:11 AM
"I really wanted to win today; I can't say I'm not disappointed. I didn't have a super day today, but not a terrible day either - I was really suffering over the last 5 km, but Botero's no surprise. He beat me by more (time) in the Dauphiné time trial this year. We always counted (Botero) as a major threat."
You do not hold back in a time trial, to suggest that Armstrong loss because he was holding something back is just ridiculous! You do not give time to your rivals especially when everyone of the GC guys has doubts about how they will ride in the mountains. Armstrong does not win at will! Armstrong is not unbeatable, even in the tour, although last year he was super strong just go back to the two previous years.
I need to get this straight:
You think Lance held back and gave time to his competition all so that he could give a little fuel to the media and they could question his ability to win the whole tour?
What, so he could really show them up on Thursday?
Anyone with any sense about cycling would know that until we see how everyone rides in the first day in the mountains any predictions are at best guesses. Nobody in the media is writing Armstrong off because he didn't dominate everyone in the time trial!
Fair enough but.....Len J
Jul 16, 2002 6:14 AM
then explain why he didn't use the most aerodynamic skinsuit & handlebars?

That's easy enough...Wayne
Jul 16, 2002 6:24 AM
Skinsuit: he didn't like the fit of the skinsuit, he felt it was too hot for it, it didn't get packed in his bag the night before.
Handlebars: they broke, he didn't like the fit of them, he decided the others were faster for some reason.

There are any number of possibilities, but to suggest that because he opted for equipment to put him at a disadvantage so that he wouldn't have to have the team defend the jersey for the next two stages or even more incredulously he wanted to pull one over on the media is just plain silly!

I'm sure the equipment he selected from what was available was the combination he thought would allow him to go the fastest.
You certainly MAY be right..............Len J
Jul 16, 2002 6:27 AM
and we may never know, but.....

it sure makes it more interesting to think about the possibilities.

You certainly MAY be right..............PhatMatt
Jul 16, 2002 6:33 AM
I feel the media spin is by the media not the actuall riders. Lance has seen that stage adn no dout ridden it prior to the tour. I think that he has a well thought out plan for the most part, and he is just staying to his plan.

None of the possibilities I can think of...Wayne
Jul 16, 2002 6:38 AM
are in the least flattering to Armstrong if your right:
1) He's the cockiest f**ker on the planet and has no respect for his opponents.
2) He's got some serious psychological issues of any variety of flavors.
3) He's just a complete idiot.

I tend to believe none of those are correct and probably he just had an off day and probably Botero and company are a little better this year than last and consequently we didn't see the big time differences like last year. I hope for all the Lancophiles sakes he isn't flat on Thursday. I can't imagine the explanations that will start to pop-up as to why he didn't crush everyone by minutes! Although I hope it's not the case, if I had to bet, I think he will put minutes into most of his rivals on stage 11.
What about.......Len J
Jul 16, 2002 6:48 AM
1.) He felt the gain to the team by not having to defend the jersey was worth more than 20+ seconds in the overall race.

2.) He has been concentrating on climbing in his training & knows emperically that he is a stronger climber this year than last year when he went into the mountains behind Beloki in time.

I find it interesting to look at what seems obvious & try to find other explanations, mental gymnastics really.

All that being said, I tend to agree with TJeanloz's explanation that it was more about comfort than anything else.

I think the only way we can be 100% certain is if the time is still tight coming into the last ITT. If LA breaks out the skinsuit & bars a la John Cobb's recommendation Then I think it will be safe to say that yesterday was part of a tactic. Otherwise it's just a guess.

Yeah but...Wayne
Jul 16, 2002 7:04 AM
1) I'm just not buying it, it would be foolishness on his part.
2) But he must have doubts about how the others will climb? And still if you're suggesting he traded some TTing for climbing ability, that still means he just flat out loss the stage!

If you're still not going to know if you won't even believe the words out of Armstrong's own mouth.
Even he adopts the Cobb recommendations, that doesn't mean since he didn't follow them this time he wasn't giving 100% or intentially made his selection to lose time! If anything, I'd expect him to use them. AS in, "boy I screwed up this time maybe that guy knows what he's talking about" or "my way didn't work last time, I better go with the suit, etc".
Many many good points here nmPhatMatt
Jul 16, 2002 7:07 AM
How about this quote...JL
Jul 16, 2002 7:02 AM
No, I don't think that he did it to fuel the media, but he has been playing media games with ONCE's Saiz (middle of the page).

I think he road as strong as he WANTED to yesterday, but it wouldn't be the first time he didn't go full out on a stage to throw the competition off. Maybe the wind was as strong as they said and Botero did have a great ride. He did say it's good for us that we don't have to defend the yellow right now (on an OLN interview, but I haven't seen it in print). I agree everything written now is pure guessing about the mountains and the rest of the Tour. As Saturday showed, anything (even Lance getting caught up in a crash) can happen at any time.

I just agreed that maybe he did play the media game AFTER the ITT and perhaps (agreed speculation) he did hold something back.

Sorry about that...Wayne
Jul 16, 2002 7:21 AM
I agree there is some sparring going on in the media. I'm sure he's always given 100% at Tour time trials, he said as much after the prologue. It would be utter stupidity for anyone with GC hopes to purposefully concede time! You never get back what you give away because you can bet all your rivals will be fighting tooth and nail for every second. Like I said before, all of these guys will have reservations about their climbing legs until the end of stage 11 and you can bet that includes Armstrong. It's a big question mark for all of them.
Let's just all agree with what RufusJL
Jul 16, 2002 7:35 AM
said below. There's a lot of racing yet to be done, anything can happen and we really shouldn't overanalyze the situation.

Though it certainly does make for fun debate. :)

Happy riding.

Remmember that John Cobb is the same guy who said that aero...Bruno
Jul 16, 2002 6:17 AM
Remmember that John Cobb is the same guy who said that aero seatposts don't work. I can't possible believe this. How come that Trek's TT bikes all have aero seatposts and ONCE is doing so well with them. I think his gain estimates are grossly exagerated. 20 seconds over the prologue? Imagine if Jaja would have wore the aero suit.
He didn't say.........Len J
Jul 16, 2002 6:19 AM
20 seconds over the prologue, he said 20 seconds over that course (yesterdays 52 K TT). Not unreasonable.

He didn't say.........Jon Billheimer
Jul 16, 2002 6:41 AM
Lance doesn't hold back in time trials. He didn't hold back in the Midi or the Dauphine, and he sure as heck wasn't holding back yesterday. Winning a time trial at this stage in the tour gives one an important psychological advantage. The other guys have just been raising their game a notch or two. Everybody now focusses their training specifically to beat Armstrong.

With respect to equipment changes I personally think Cobb is overstating his case a bit. Although he's the guru of wind tunnel testing everything he says is not gospel, and real world conditions don't always mimic wind tunnel data. So who knows? One thing's for sure. This Tour is not as boring as everyone predicted it would be.
i think from the dauphinerufus
Jul 16, 2002 7:12 AM
that botero has been really concentrating on his time trialing this season. and he rode a hell of a time trial.

lance rode a great time trial also, he did finish second. but he said he didn't really feel fast, maybe he was having a few problems, or just didn't feel comfortable, or for some reason no one can explain, he was working as hard as he could, but just couldn't quite get it all going as smoothly as he wanted. some days you have it, other times you feel just a bit off. i wouldn't read too much else into it. there's a lot of racing still to be done.
Not an answer, but...Gregory Taylor
Jul 16, 2002 7:29 AM
I seem to remember reading an article by Chris Carmichael (Lance's coach) saying that Lance's training had shifted in emphasis after Ullrich announced that he would be skipping the Tour. With Ullrich out, they de-emphasized time trialing and concentrated on climbing. That could help explain the result in the Dauphine and yesterday's ITT.

As for why he went back to the tried and true equipment, who knows? It could be a "fit" question, or maybe he doesn't trust the new equipment yet. I don't know.
Read the same thing re Ullrich.djg
Jul 16, 2002 9:32 AM
There's another factor folks are ignoring: it was clearly a pretty windy day, especially along the coast. And wind is the sort of thing that just never provides a constant load. Did he have just a tad more work to do than Botero? A tad less? I have no idea. But given the conditions, and the earliness of the stage, I'd be pretty hesitant to make much of anything out of this 10 second gap. Sure, LA isn't going to just punt a TT, but he might well do less than leave it all on the road at this stage of the race.

The mountains are the race. We'll learn a lot later this week.
if he wanted to go slower, he would ride slowerishmael
Jul 16, 2002 7:33 AM
not use less efficient equipment and have to work harder. I cant see anyone using less than what they think will work best. And I seriously doubt he is taking it easy for tactical reasons, maybe not riding all out but certainly not taking it easy.
Mental masterbation on the rest of the fieldLone Gunman
Jul 16, 2002 9:36 AM
Lance did the same thing last year except in different form; faking pain and loss of stamina in the first day of the mountains or so only to smoke the competion on the last climb as I remember. Should he smoke the field in the mountains, the blow will be that more crushing as they thought he was beatable. Then again, he may have just had a sub super day. Either way, it does not end his race, he moved from 7 to 2 in one day.
Mental masterbation on the rest of the fieldtaar44
Jul 16, 2002 12:40 PM
Somehow i do not see lance smoking the entire field again in the mountains. Can't wait till thurs!!
what about the bike?TPC
Jul 16, 2002 7:14 PM
clothing, bar, and wheel slowed him down, but shouldn't the awesome TT Frame make it no lo contendre???
Jul 17, 2002 9:02 AM
Botero rode a STANDARD ROAD BIKE with aero bars on it. He doesn't even have a special helmet, he rode with his standard crash helmet (Kelme is one of the poorest teams in the Tour). So exactly what is Lance "giving away" here?
Good call LFRSoultrain
Jul 17, 2002 9:04 PM
Botero probably could have beaten Lance by over two minutes if he had all the technical inovations that Lance used. Aero helmet alone would be more than 30 seconds, and with an aero frame?
Botero just rode a blistering time trial, and produced monsterous amounts of power.