|Imagine you run ONCE... (partial spoiler)||mr_spin|
Jul 18, 2002 1:08 PM
|What are your tactics for stage 12?
Looking at the overall after stage 11, I see four ONCE guys in the top 10. Obviously there's Beloki and Gonzalez de Galdeano, but there's also Azevedo and Serrano. I don't know much about Serrano, but Azevedo is the real deal.
Tomorrow, I'm sure ONCE will try to attack Armstrong, but GdG is not a realistic threat anymore. The obvious candidate is Azevedo. When does he go? Given the strength of the US Postal team, it doesn't make sense to send him too early, but then given their strength, it doesn't make sense to send him at all! Nevertheless, you have to do something.
What do you do?
On a side note, Azevedo is my choice for future star. I've followed him ever since the 2001 Giro, where he took 5th overall working for Olano (and it was hard work--he saved Olano's 2nd overall on Stage 20). He was impressive all along, but he showed what an incredible descender he is on Stage 17 when he did an absolutely reckless and suicidal chase down a technical descent that even the TV motorbikes refused to follow. At one point he missed a turn, slammed into a fence, got back up and continued at the same speed. Naturally, he caught the guy, Pietro Caucchioli, but lost the stage by two seconds....
Jul 18, 2002 1:28 PM
|If US Postal is able to drive the field tommorrow the same way they did today, you're fuct. Armstrong won today, and HE DIDN'T ATTACK. He didn't win the race today so much as everybody else lost it. If Postal succeeds in shelling people with the pace, I don't think that any amount of attacking will mitigate that.|
|But you gotta try...||Wayne|
Jul 18, 2002 2:02 PM
|Sainz screwed up when he didn't send these guys including Jaksche and Olano (who could of been threats at that point) up the road on the stages after the TTT. That would have forced postal to chase and/or allowed them to get a potentially significant lead. Instead they road tempo for a bunch of days wearing themselves out while Postal got a free ride.
Maybe they had too much confidence in Beloki/GdG, then again Beloki did hang with Armstrong today, and if you believe Armstrong he didn't attack because he couldn't attack and neither could/did Beloki. It's not over but it very well may be after tomorrow. Seems like bad strategy to just wait and go head to head with the guy who has dominated the mountains for three years running when you could of at least tried something!
Postal will have to control the race tomorrow anyway whats it matter if Serrano or Azevedo attacks, they'ed have to get a 10 minute lead to realistically threaten Armstrong. I still don't think Armstrong is the rider he was last year or the others have stepped up a notch, but Beloki has to drop him if he's going to beat him and that's a real long shot.
Jul 18, 2002 2:47 PM
|Armstrong may or may not be as strong in the TT, but I think he has put more into training for the mountains since they are more butched together this year. Today, Lance didn't even show what he has for the mountains, Heras did all the work until Beloki forced Lance to pull hard the last 100 meters. With tough mountain stages all the way until the end of the tour, Lance will do what it takes to win but will not waste any needed reserves. And don't believe what he said about not being able to attack, he plays the media like a profesional gambler and will never lay out his cards for all to see.|
Jul 18, 2002 3:27 PM
|Yup, he's got the bluff game down. Not well in the TT? jeez he took second (by about 5 seconds) out of 180 plus riders!!! Ya'll are hard to please ain't ya (my best Texas Accent)? Besides it kept ONCE in the lead and forced them to work the final day before the mountains. I wouldn't put it past Johann and Lance to have planned it that way. He'll attack, hopefully with Roberto and Beloki is the only GC contender who can attempt to keep up. There may be some one day attacks for stages but USPS already hurt the Peloton and didn't attack to get it done.|
|Saiz was overconfident||t-bill|
Jul 19, 2002 7:55 AM
|I think Saiz et al honestly believed they didn't need to attack. They thoought that when they hit the mountains, ONCE would be the pace setters. Manolo has always been super cocky, I'm glad to see him put in his place.|
Jul 18, 2002 2:05 PM
|Oh, I agree. Totally. But let's not get carried away. Today's stage wasn't really ideal for a breakaway attack, except on the final climb. There was at least 40K of descent on which anyone who lagged could get back to the leaders. That's why most of the peloton was there at the bottom of the final climb. Hell, Robbie McEwen was even there!!! Jalabert got as far as he did because it was more convenient to let him go.
Tomorrow is a much different and harder profile, and it ends with an HC climb, not a lowly cat 1. The climbers have had a day to get their legs working again after all that time on the flats. Last year, Telekom didn't give up when Armstrong had 3 minutes on Ullrich, so why would ONCE give in at just over 1 minute back?
Jul 18, 2002 2:12 PM
|Lance and Heras did it just by upping the pace. A steady acceleration smashed the entire peloton except Beloki. If you didn't notice while Beloki and Roberto (partially) were sucking air Lance was on the radio taking to Johann. He didn't attack because he didn't need or want to. I think he was hoping to break Joseba and give the stage to Heras. Beloki hung tough and with very little effort Lance skated away for the win. USPS will control the peloton when needed and Lance, the Spaniards and hopefully a recovered Landis will deal out some more hurt. ONCE won't give up but Beloki is their man. He'll lose time and will also lose in the TT. They don't have the troops to stop it in the hills. Keep an eye on Euskatel and Kelme tomorrow to launch attacks, I think ONCE will tail postal and make their domestiques work hoping Beloki can counter at the end.|
|re: Imagine you run ONCE... (partial spoiler)||CFBlue|
Jul 18, 2002 2:55 PM
|You guys just don't understand the mind games the spainards were playing. They *let* Lance get away to make him overconfident, The folks who were talking about the Spanish teams cooperating to get Lance almost had it right, today they pretended to not be able to keep up. Tomorrow will be more of the same, then when they have him right where they want him, *POW* they let him have it :-)|
|re: Imagine you run ONCE... (partial spoiler)||atpjunkie|
Jul 18, 2002 3:46 PM
|Please share your crack with the rest of us or your sarcasm. You don't toss away minutes as a bluff, maybe seconds, did you see GdG's face. Suffering like a dog locked in a car on a hot day. There will be Spanish attacks, most likely by Kelme or Euskatel, look I'm no huge LA (I like Domo on 1 day Classics) fan but the only thing they are going to let Lance have is a yellow shirt.|
Jul 19, 2002 3:14 AM
|that was a joke at the expense of all the people who won't take Lance's performances or even his words at face value! The TT is a non-issue, you simply wouldn't give time away when you don't know how you or your opponents are going to perform in the mountains. And as I said before, a great performance, but not a crushing performance like last year. Yesterday's mountain stage, after watching it last night, I think he could probably have attacked earlier, maybe. But when your suffering like a dog, you know you have yellow, your main contender is right there beside you, you have your main man setting the pace, and you know the next day is a real bitch it's gotta be hard to find the motivation to lift the pace! Maybe he wasn't tapped out at 100% but he was probably going 98-99% as hard as he could. Maybe today or Sunday we'll see a dominating performance like last year, but he's yet to show it and until he does in my opionion he looks alot more vulnerable than he did last year when he looked untouchable. That being said there's still no way I'd bet against him, he's still the heavy, heavy favorite.|
Jul 19, 2002 10:47 AM
|Thanks, Wayne, I am kind of surprised anyone tried to take me seriously.
Myself, I am hoping for a good showing by Levi, hometown hero :-)
Jul 19, 2002 11:38 AM
|couldn't quite tell, so many are serious about such things. That's why I added the crack and sarcasm comment :0P. Levi, hometown? Montana (old) or Santa Rosa (new) ? Yes, you wouldn't give away time, especially on home soil and defending. I was very pleased with their fine rebluffing today. Their game is on!!!!! ;0)|
Jul 19, 2002 2:02 PM
|Santa Rosa, Actually I live 45 miles from there, in San Rafael, but I do a lot of riding in that neighborhood, and one of the best LBS in two counties is there.|
Jul 19, 2002 3:55 PM
|yes they do. I live in San Diego, but grew up in Sonoma. Family there and in San Anselmo. Spent most my life there. Great riding indeed both on and off road. Makes one more reason to visit the folks. Too bad Ibis and Salsa are both gone.|
Jul 20, 2002 4:19 PM
|Let me know when you are next in the neighboorhood, we'll go for a ride.
Jul 22, 2002 7:51 PM
if you are ever in San Diego, same goes