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A question about Lance's strategy . . .`(7 posts)

A question about Lance's strategy . . .`LAIrish
Jul 23, 2001 10:22 AM
It kinda seems to me that Lance has decided that his 5 or so minute lead is enough. There's not many opportunities, now that they're out of the mountains, to make up a lot of time. This makes sense. Now, my question. What if Lance flats? or crashes? or has some mechanical problem that takes 10 or so minutes to repair? Even if Jan attempts to return Saturday's favor and not attack, mightn't it just take too long for the problem to be solved? And Beloki and Kivilev may not buy into the "gentelmanly" theory of competition.(Did they followed Lanc's lead on Saturday and hold off for Jan's return?)

I would think that, in a race like this, you would want to have a significant margin before you stoppped worrying about taking time out of your nearest competitors.
re: A question about Lance's strategy . . .`TJeanloz
Jul 23, 2001 10:27 AM
Out of the mountains, a 5 minute gap is pretty substantial. If he flats, the entire postal team will wait for him, and with 8 guys they can pull the field back pretty quickly. A crash, assuming it's not catastrophic would have about the same result. Keep in mind also, that because Lance waited for Ullrich, Ullrich owes Lance the same courtesy and would not push the pace or attack if the yellow jersey was off the back due to an unathletic problem. In terms of Beloki and Kivilev, in pro cycling, what goes around comes around, and if they attack with the yellow jersey off the back, it would indeed be a fragile lead that they would hold.

Lance has a backup bike on the team car, so even if his is broken in half, he wouldn't lose more that 30 seconds in the switch.
Yea, I understand that, but . . .LAIrish
Jul 23, 2001 5:09 PM
there's always something that can go wrong. There's always something that you couldn't have planned for. (What if Lance breaks both his bikes, the second while his teammates are up the road, cruising, waiting for him to catch up so they can reel in the pack, and it takes another couple of minutes for somebody to get back to him to give him his bike, which doesn't fit that well, etc. etc.? It could happen.)

I'm not saying Lance should have attacked when Jan was down. But couldn't he have launched his attacks a little sooner, gaining more time?

And the peloton may someday punish Beloki or Kivilev, but that seems a distant threat compared to winning Le Tour.
Can't count in everythingPeter E
Jul 24, 2001 4:04 AM
If a train stops the peleton from hunting a escape group or Lance get kidnapped by Ulrich-fans he could also lose the yellow. The point is, he can't keep worying about everything odd that can happend. If something doesn't go extremely wrong for Lance he won't have any problem to defend the jersey with a 5 min gap

And roadracing is a very polite sport were real pro's just DON'T attack to gain time on someone with problems other than if he is to tired to keep up.

I also read on LA's side that his attack was well planned. If he had attacked earlier he wouldn't have gained just any more time but instead he would have been more tired in the coming stages
The attacks looked well planned . . .LAIrish
Jul 24, 2001 9:52 AM
In fact, everything USPS and Lance has done in this race (well, except the crashes) looked well planned.

But it also looked to me like Lance had plenty left on the last couple of mountain stages, before a rest day, so that he might have taken a few more minutes out of Ullrich.

I know 5 minutes is a big lead. But didn't Lance overcome 3 minutes in the ITT a couple of years ago?

With respect to planning for everything, that's exactly my point. You can't plan for everything. Isn't that why you would want as big a lead as possible? So that, when the unplanned-for events occur, you have the time to solve the problem? (I'm sure the Surete could get Lance back from the Ullrich-loving-kidnappers in under an hour. After all, it seems they're following Lance all the time in the hopes of finding evidence of illegal drug usage. (The Surete, not the kidnappers.)):-)
only if it happens in the TT (nm)BigMig
Jul 23, 2001 6:06 PM
re: A question about Lance's strategy . . .`Scott B
Jul 25, 2001 7:38 AM
I think you raise a valid point, though, in a somewhat different context. By allowing Ullrich to take third place in the stage the other day, (thereby gaining an 8 second bonus) Lance effectively pushed Ullrich into second by exactly that amount of time. How does the erstwhile second place rider (I forget whether it was Kivilev, Simon, or whomever) feel about losing his podium position because Lance was being gentlemanly towards Ullrich? I guess, in the final analysis, it's their own responsibility to maintain their overall time/place, but it does strike me as somewhat different than, say, allowing another rider their day in the sun by allowing(?) them to win a stage when they're really not an overall threat (the name Pantani comes to mind). If we were to analogize it to team sports, I guess it's the difference between piling on runs/points/etc. when you've got a particular game won vs. resting up your better players late in the season when you've already got the title wrapped up.