Jul 24, 2001 12:22 PM
|There's been a lot of trashing of the USPS squad during this tour. Much of it is just a case of "my-team's-better-than-your-team," but occasionally a real discussion has broken out amidst the passion.
I think one thing that we really need to consider is what the team's mission is, and how good a DS Johan Bruyneel is.
Bruyneel made it totally clear from the beginning that the team had one goal and only one goal: to help LA win the Tour. He built a team that he believed would help do that: strong in the mountains (where Lance has traditionally always had at least one bad stage), and light in the diesel department. Everyone believes that the tour is won in the mountains and individual TTs, with the flatland stages making little difference.
So what's wrong with the USPS team? They may not be a group of yellow jersey contenders, but as a support staff, they've played the role Bruyneel laid out pretty darn well.
|Gotta agree with you completely||Spyder Ryder|
Jul 24, 2001 1:56 PM
|When LAnce won his 1st Tour back in 99, the first thing that came to my mind was just how well USPS defended the maillot juarne. Yeah Lance winning at Metz and Sestriere was cool, but an American team lifting Lance to the Paris?? They blew the other teams out of the water and pushed the peloton al the way.
Bruyneel was a big part of that team. This year everybody has been slamming USPS and I have no idea why. They are doing what they have to, yes they did help let that 30-min break go, but if you know you have a better hand you shouldn't flinch if someone ups the ante by a big bet. They held their ground, stuck to their guns and look at the results. The crash was a litle damaging but the descision to wait for Heras was a good one since he is in 12th place right now and the decision was made before the Tour even started by, guess who, Bruyneel. All through the mountain stages Heras and Rubiera were in Armstrong's back pocket, yes Tyler has had a bad Tour, bad timing on the illness tip, but we cant do anything about that. On the flat stages it seemed like Lance and Georgie were linked at the hip, all the shots you'd see at the front of the peloton would be Hincapie and then Lance right behind. I wouldnt want anybody else but Hincapie as my bodyguard in the Tour, big, fast, and strong.
The only thing I can see wrong with USPS is that perhaps they didnt put enough guys into the breakaways. I would imagine that was on purpose though, trying to keep Lance surrounded by guys.
People always seem to forget that cycling is a team sport in its purest form, no USPS, no 3-time winner(shortly) Lance Armstrong.
Heres an interesting scenario. A race with only 2 riders from each team, 4 stages,
stg 1: 230km flat rolling terrain,
stg 2: 55km TT,
stg 3: 170km mountain stage, 3 cat 1, 1 HC climb
stg 4: 215km flat rolling stage
A test of individual strength and team strength.
|Well-said/great analysis, Spyder!! (nm)||RhodyRider|
Jul 25, 2001 5:37 AM