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Question on strategy....(5 posts)

Question on strategy....AllisonHayes
Jul 8, 2002 11:18 AM
I see where Lance finished 61st in stage 2 and 30th in stage 1. Overall he is tied for 3rd and is only 3 seconds behind.

People have commented that he has been "lucky" because he has not been involved in an accident and tends to stay out of the pack. But in stages 1 & 2, over a hundred riders were all pretty close at the finish.

So, what is Lance's strategy in these early stages both as far as riding in the pack as well as finishing? What will his strategy be in the mountains? Which stages would he most likely try to win?

thanks, Allison
re: Question on strategy....SLB
Jul 8, 2002 11:42 AM
All riders who finish in the pack are given the same time as the first rider in the pack. So the actual placing doesn't matter at all compared to the time lost. So Lance's strategy is just to finish in the same pack as any "danger" man.

Lance is the best time trialer in the tour, so he's a good bet to win the individual tt's. In the mountains, he will just try to finish ahead of or limit time lost to any legitimate challenger, and if he wins the stage, that's just a bonus.
re: Question on strategy....mr_spin
Jul 8, 2002 12:11 PM
The time trials are a given, but history has shown that Lance goes for the throat on the first Mountain stage. Sestriere in 1999 (1st), Hautacam in 2000 (2nd), L'Alpe d'Huez in 2001 (1st). This year, expect Lance to strike out on stage 11, to La Mongie.

Lance also likes taking the historic mountain stages, such as L'Alpe d'Huez. This year stage 14 finishes on the mythic Mt. Ventoux, which Lance let Pantani win in 2000. There is no doubt in my mind that Lance will spare nothing to take Ventoux on stage 14, and he will punish severely anyone who gets in his way!
What does USPS do to keep Lance out of harm's way?LeanneWilde
Jul 8, 2002 1:52 PM
If anything? Are there strategies to protect riders. For example, during the final sprint in stage 2, Friere was elbowed by another rider but managed to win regardless.
At the end, not muchmr_spin
Jul 8, 2002 2:38 PM
Lance gets paid big money to take care of himself at the end of races. He doesn't particpate in sprints, so he hangs back out of the way with the rest of the peloton and crosses his fingers. There isn't much he can do.

On TV they pull the motorbikes, so you only get a shot from the finish line. The riders not sprinting look much closer than they actually are. They are either coasting or soft pedalling, so there's usually plenty of space to maneuver and react. Still, you'll almost always see Lance somewhere up front.

In the 2001 Giro, there was a violent crash at the back of the pack on (I think) the final stage. All you saw from the finish line camera was the pack racing towards the camera, then two riderless bikes flying high into the air, tiwsting and turning, above the rider's heads! There's no footage of the crash, but it must have hurt.

There's a rule that if you are involved in a crash in the final kilometer, you have all day to cross the finish line and you get the time of the group you were in. You can ride, walk, or crawl, it doesn't matter.