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(spoiler) Aitor Gonzalez(32 posts)

(spoiler) Aitor Gonzalezweiwentg
Sep 22, 2002 3:04 PM
what the heck was Gonzalez thinking, pushing the pace when Sevilla was in trouble? if he didn't push it, Heras would have had to make the first move.
re: I dont think he carescyclejim
Sep 22, 2002 4:06 PM
...about supporting Sevilla. Matter of fact Sevilla doesn't seem to be getting much support from anyone. We know Botero can climb (on a good day) and he has been nowhere also.
re: I dont think he caresSpunout
Sep 22, 2002 4:33 PM
Heras was set to blow the race apart anyways. On a climb of that magnitude, who cares who jumps first?

Nevertheless, Gonzales did a big political mistake by jumping first. Then again, Kelme doesn't have him signed (I think?) for next year, so he's racing for hisself. And, he can out TT Heras (barring a ride-of-a-lifetime from Heras).

That must be the most difficult move in all sport, to stay with your hallowed leader while the rest romp up the road. Lemond (waiting for Hinault) is a much better man, but has one less TDF win for that!!!
Your last paragraph is so true...Lemond must think...Djudd
Sep 22, 2002 6:28 PM
about that '85 tour everyday. Knowing you are stronger than your team leader and still staying with him goes against everything that makes a competitive athlete tick. What's funny is the number of people that call Lemond a traitor for not supporting Hinault in '86.
re: (spoiler) Aitor Gonzalezflying
Sep 22, 2002 7:47 PM
I think it was a dumb move. To top it off he didn't have the beans to back it up.
Others say it didn't matter as Heras was strongest.......
Yes true but if Aitor had not jumped that early the losses would have been less.
I think he was a real pr*%# & not a team player at all.
Even if he was stronger he should have waited & let a non leader make the 1st move. Neither he or Oscar needed to make*the* move. Stupid very stupid IMO
Sep 23, 2002 3:35 AM
he screwed himself with the team. Why not just wait and follow Heras who has to attack? The outcome would have been the same or perhaps better for Aitor, now he looks like a prick.
And it pissed Sevilla off. Maybe he will try going from farther out on the next mountain top finish to get the time back. Postal is really weak and depleted. An attack one or two mountains from the finish by Sevilla (and Tauler or another domestique) could really hurt Heras who if USPS follows form would only have Heras and VV to chase, maybe Rubiera who seems to be going better. ONCE will be an ally though and that may save Postal's skin over the next week.
doesn't it make sense?mr_spin
Sep 23, 2002 6:55 AM
Sevilla looked in trouble before they even got to the climb. I'm sure he told the team car he wasn't feeling great. When their leader who is also the race leader isn't going well, what is Kelme supposed to do?

The decision becomes a great deal easier when they also have the second placed guy on GC. If I'm the Kelme DS, I tell Sevilla to do the best he can to survive and set Aitor free. The objective isn't so much that Sevilla wins the race, but that someone on Kelme does.

Maybe I'm just naive, but there seems to be a conspiricy for everything these days. I like to think life is a little simpler and a lot more logical.
Well, the problem is..Wayne
Sep 23, 2002 7:12 AM
Aitor was 1:41 ahead of Heras and out-TT'd him in the first TT and has a history of being a better TTist. So there is no need for him to attack, he just has to follow Heras and win the race for Kelme. But he went to the front and kept pushing which basically detached himself and Heras from everyone, so he was helping to put time into Sevilla. If he would have just waited for Heras to attack and then followed him, no-one would have been upset when Sevilla couldn't follow. I think he over-estimated his own ability and thought he was going to ride off and win the stage. I'm sure if he would have done that there wouldn't be as much belly-aching, but he just gave Heras a lead-out up that mountain which wasn't good for anybody on Kelme!
Yeah, butmr_spin
Sep 23, 2002 7:28 AM
You write as if they were the only two guys on the mountain. They weren't. One reason you crank up the pace on a mountain is to discourage guys from going off the front. Everyone knew that Heras was going to go, so factor him out and worry about the other guys, like Simoni, Casagrande, and Mayo. Sevilla was going to fall off at some point and lose a lot of time. It makes no sense for Aitor to also lose time trying to "save" him.
Sep 23, 2002 8:55 AM
Aitor wasn't losing time to anyone, he was at the front of the race at that point! No-one is saying he should have waited for Sevilla, he just shouldn't have been the one to crack him!
Sep 23, 2002 9:53 AM
you know why. Now you are the expert on A.G's lack of team work. That's a fine 180 from your posts below. Like I said Aitor is riding for Aitor. Maybe he's looking for a spot on USPS :0), he did such a fine job cracking Sevilla and launching Heras. A good lieutenant doesn't crack his team leader, in contrast how Heras slowed down for Lance in the first Mountain Stage of this years TdF, much like Lemond did for Hinault in '85 that is what a team member does. If the rest of ya don't understand what I'm referring to, check Waynes (and others) and my discussion about Ag last week.
Hate to say I told ya so...
then I don't
For what?Wayne
Sep 23, 2002 10:00 AM
I'll say you were right and i was wrong about Aitor attacking Sevilla but I don't know what I need to apologize over. I think it's wrong what Aitor did especially when it was so unnecessary. And he's being bashed in the press by everyone now (including his DS), so again I think it was the wrong move. What did I do a 180 on?
true, none neededatpjunkie
Sep 23, 2002 10:28 AM
I agree it was wrong, but my point from last week is it's all about Aitor. You seemed to defend him so staunchly, when everything he'd done was showing he was serving himself and not Kelme. That's my point about the 180, you seemed to back Aitor as a team player now you are calling him an idiot (so to speak). It was dumb as far as him serving Kelme, butif he holds close to Heras and wins the Vuelta in the TT it will be a brilliant move for advancing his career. He has no allegiance to Kelme as they've shown none to him. A dumb move agreed and a huge risk as it will affect his contracts as lietenant but could get him the GC spot he's looking for.
A misunderstanding then...Wayne
Sep 23, 2002 10:42 AM
my position was that Sevilla and Aitor were team players but both protected riders. And that Aitor could help himself without necessarily being blatant about attacking Sevilla. That is, he could both be a team player and further his own aims IF Sevilla couldn't follow an attack by Heras or whoever. And even if it was Sevilla who rode away all he had to do was cover the 1st chaser. Thereby he does the good team-mate thing and still possibly preserves a shot at taking out the GC in the final TT. As it stands he looks like an ingrate, all because he didn't have the patience to wait until Heras attacked. The outcome would have been more or less the same but now Aitor looks like a backstabbing, selfish prick. If he would have just followed Heras he would have been viewed as taking up the Kelme banner as Sevilla fell.
Anyway, I'm just hoping Belda goes on the attack (with ONCE?) and tries to blow postal out of the water. If he does this could get really interesting over the next week.
Oh, I reread the post below and now here...Wayne
Sep 23, 2002 10:19 AM
and I'm more confused than ever. Mr. Spin may have come across a little harsh on you but I think I was plenty respectful while still disagreeing.
And what are you talking about doing a 180? We were predicting the future below and at that point, AG and Sevilla were both talking a good "team" game and AG had done nothing to indicate otherwise.
You were right and I was wrong. I watched the stage, for me to try to sit here and deny that Aitor rode Sevilla and everybody else off his wheel (but Heras) would be silly. I'd rather admit that I was wrong than try to distort the facts to save face.
Yeah, butflying
Sep 23, 2002 10:06 AM
Sitting on the front & trying to break away are 2 diff things.
Kelme could let the race come to them.
All Aitor did was pace Heras up then fold like a cheap suit.
I wonder if he is asking Postal for a job? ;-)

Really though it was totally wrong of Aitor. I bet he had to eat pancakes for breakfast today. Why?....... because that was the only thing they could slide under his locked bedroom ;-)
I've yet to see any quotes..Wayne
Sep 23, 2002 10:12 AM
from him. I suspect you're right and he's hiding out somewhere right now. Although Belda seemed to blow it off, basically saying don't worry Heras doesn't have the team to defend the lead. Payback could be sending Sevilla on the attack and "forcing" Aitor to cover.
let the Spanish Civil War Beginatpjunkie
Sep 23, 2002 10:32 AM
Viva El Contoversio. Wayne I still think you and Mr Spin are good peeps. It's going to get ugly and will only help Joseba and Roberto. Look for USPS and Once to capitalize.
I'm hoping it does get ugly...Wayne
Sep 23, 2002 10:46 AM
I think the linchpin will be ONCE. Do they go with Kelme and try to get Heras or side with Postal in the hopes of putting Beloki on the podium? Sainz seems really conservative and if I were to bet I suspect he will try defend and not go out on the attack but I hope just the opposite!
I'm hoping it does get ugly...atpjunkie
Sep 23, 2002 11:21 AM
IMHO I think Johann has a few tricks up his sleeve. I think Chechu will Rally and USPS will defend well. Heras has to put time on in the next hill stages for a cushion for the finall TT. Look for Postal to rally around the leaders jersey (maybe they've been sandbagging) and make a hell of a show. I think it's going down to Beloki and Heras.
I'll agree with you...Wayne
Sep 23, 2002 11:44 AM
on Bruyneel having something up his sleeves, even though I'm no fan of Postal, they get the job done. Not that many left though (Kjaergaard, Pena and Barry are already out). So far only VV been able to climb with the front group though, Rubiera was yo-yoing off the back yesterday even before the final climb.
Euskatel and MSS-Milanezi might make for a headache for Postal as well, they've got multiple guys within podium striking distance and have been more than williing to attack. I also don't think we've seen the last of Simoni or Casagrande.
Yeah, butjschrotz
Sep 23, 2002 12:07 PM
Ok, let me get this straight. . .

1. Your team leader is just one second ahead of you on GC and is having a terrible day on a vicious climb and will almost certainly lose his race lead while you are going much better (and better than anyone else expects of you).

2. You know that Heras and/or Simoni is going to bolt for the stage win and try to get the race lead.

Your options are A: stick w/your team leader and help him minimize his losses in which case your team loses all chance of keeping the jersey. B: stick with Heras as long as you can and hope to stay close enough that you take the jersey and keep it within the team. C: Force Heras to make his attack earlier than he planned and hope that he fades near the end of the stage allowing both you and your team leader to minimze the damage as much as possible and possibly keep the jersey w/in the team.

AG chose option C and everyone craps on him for riding for himself? Sevilla had zero chance of retaining his lead. That much became obvious on the first climb of the day. At least he was doing what he could to keep the lead w/Kelme, and it's hard to fault the guy (not a reputed climber BTW) for not being able to stay close to Heras when no one else could either, not even the climbing specialists like Simoni or Mayo. Sevilla was in trouble much like Riis was in the '97 TdF when Ullrich rode away from everyone on Arcalis. If AG had taken the jersey like Ullrich did in '97 everyone would be applauding how brilliant his move was. As it stands, both are now still on the podium with a good chance of leapfrogging over a weaker time trialist to go 1-2 in a GT. Maybe AG shouldn't have forced the pace, but let's face it, Sevilla's lead was as good as gone no matter who upped the tempo.
Yeah, but C is not an optionflying
Sep 23, 2002 12:25 PM
It is one thing to counter an attack by Heras it is entirely another to force one when......
1) Your team leads
2) Your Team is suffering
3) You dont have the beans to back it.

Yeah maybe it would be different..If....If......If
but as it stands dont forget for all the Stupid Bravado he pulled he came in 2:16 behind Heras & Seville was only 2:50 behind
So if it was so obvious that Seville was having a terrible day it should have also been obvious to Aitor that so was he ;-)
Yeah, butatpjunkie
Sep 23, 2002 12:26 PM
AG didn't need to up the pace when he did. Kelme had control and didn't need to up it to the point of cracking Sevilla. Oscar tends to lose time, recover, and regain time near the top as he's done in both big climbs. AG (if he was team playing) should have rode tempo for Oscar until the attack. then sat on the attacker(s) wheel hoping Sevilla can recover and minimize his damages or reel them in. What AG did was ride a pace so high he cracked his teammate and himself. This move hurt Kelme and served only to hurt his team leaders chances. Aitor isn't a climber but was having a good day. He sacrificed his team leader to suit his own needs as he still has a shot in the TT if he can stay close to the lead. This is why everyone is upset. Yes it will be a briliiant move for Aitor (not Kelme) if he pulls it off. The people who will claim his genius will be the team who signs him in 2003. In reality what Aitor did looked more like a move for USPS than anything as it broke the field and launched Heras. Sevilla needs to learn to spin, his mashing style is killing him.
Sep 23, 2002 12:33 PM
That's what I was saying. It seemed like proper race tactics to me, where it doesn't matter so much who wins, as long as that person is on Kelme. This was not a day where an ailing Sevilla could hide, and no one could save his jersey. Kelme had to play their other card.

Everything has to be personal these days, which I've never quite understood. I think it's the sports talk radio mentality, where everyone has a personal agenda and everyone is stabbing everyone else in the back.

Riis-Ullrich is a great example from recent history. I remember that stage well. And if you remember the rest of the race, Riis accepted the situation and helped Ullrich to the final victory. I'm sure he wasn't happy about it, but except for throwing his bike during the final TT, he kept his frustrations to himself. And to prove there's no hard feelings, now he wants to hire Ullrich for his CSC team!
Riis Ullrichatpjunkie
Sep 23, 2002 12:46 PM
No hard feelings.... I think Ullrichs record is why Riss wants him.
Riis was pissed but accepted his fate as it was dictated by the team, Ullrich had a better shot. As for these team directors, they have no feelings when it comes to picking up riders, especially top ones. Weren't you defending that Aitor would help Sevilla out last week and not attack him? Weren't you saying..."if I was a Team Director.... I wouldn't sign a rider who did so...."
Is this why your handle is Mr Spin?
Sorry about the flame but c'mon, you know how you flamed me about AG last week. My point is true, Aitor is riding for Aitor not Kelme. Kelme may benefit if he wins but it wasn't in their "Team Plan"
Riis Ullrichmr_spin
Sep 23, 2002 1:27 PM
I still wouldn't sign a rider who would attack his leader. But I don't think that is the case here. As the DS of Kelme, I know that the team leader is ailing and his backup is extremely well placed. The decision is obvious. The backup does whatever it takes to preserve his position and keep the jersey. Sorry, team leader, you're on your own. That's not an attack, by the way. It's logical and was probably a directive from the DS, despite what he might say afterwards. I read that Sevilla was upset after the race, but was that because he did so poorly, lost the jersey, and probably lost the whole Vuelta, or was that because he couldn't follow Aitor? There are lots of interpretations here, but this is mine. It is not inconsistent with any of my earlier posts.
Proper race tacticsnoveread
Sep 23, 2002 1:04 PM
Well, I think one factor you must weigh into this scenario is AG is not considered a climber, though he climbs better than most (like an Armstrong/Ullrich comparison). But even if he were a true climber and if Sevilla were not even on his team, I'd still think the tactics were poor. AG essentially had the race lead. There is no way that every single member of the Kelme team knew Sevilla wasn't going all that great prior to the last climb. Why attack on a climb as a TT'er? Did big Mig ever attack on a climb while wearing the leader's jersey (or even when not in the jersey?)?

IMHO I think it was poor tactics. No, I don't think AG should have been burdened with setting tempo for Sevilla, but what would have happened if AG had not forced the tempo (which is how a TT'er attacks in the hills)? Heras would have attacked at some point, but would it have happened when it did? Heras gained time all the way to the line on Sunday, if the attack had been delayed, most likely, less time by Heras would have been gained.

Further, let's say AG doesn't force the tempo, but Heras still attacks where he did on Sunday. Now AG can try to follow Heras without having made a strong tempo for the previous kilometers (exactly how many Ks he made tempo I don't remember). There's a reason Lance doesn't make tempo for entire climbs.

Proper race tacticsatpjunkie
Sep 23, 2002 2:09 PM
My point exactly. No DS tells his TTer to ride so hard to drop his GC captain. AG should have waited for the move and countered. Most likely less time would have been lost as Heras may have gone later and AG maybe wouldn't have blown (When Beloki dropped him) and would have lost less time and been able to help Sevilla. Heras didn't attack until after AG's pace setting cracked Sevilla. No DS would have ordered that. It wasn't tactics, it was AG doing the AG show.
A couple of great quotes...DeRanger
Sep 23, 2002 1:50 PM
Sevilla: "I accept what Aitor has said and now it serves to purpose to keep talking about it. We are teammates and we are going to keep fighting to try to win the Vuelta - so long as he doesn't do it again."

Hmmm...appears the cherub is fingering a pitchfork.

Gonzalez: "I don't have to feel guilty about anything...If I did something to hurt a member of the team, I did it without realizing it and I don't have to apologize about anything...It appeared that I attacked against Oscar, but who made the differences was Roberto (Heras). Oscar didn't have his day and I cannot control that...If I had committed an error, the one that's suffered the most is me. When I went to the team meeting and I realized what I had done, I was very angry with myself. What a stupid thing I had done! Next time I will look behind me."

Hmmm...he didn't do anything wrong, but he's sorry anyway, and he didn't realize what he was doing? Yeah, I want this guy on my team.

While the novela of "As the Kelme Wheels Turn" is a hoot, ONCE is going to be the team to watch this week.
A couple of great quotes... Here are moreflying
Sep 23, 2002 2:43 PM
Here are some from Heras........
"I know the Angliru very well and I had planned to attack, but not so far from the finish",

In fact, he counter-attacked Kelme's Aitor Gonzalez who accelerated with 7 km to go and caused the loss of his supposed-to-be team-mate Sevilla who was wearing the leader jersey. Sevilla cracked, Heras followed the move and later went away by himself. "I was surprised by Gonzalez' attack," Roberto explained. "But I've nothing to say about Kelme's tactic if not ‘thanks, lads'. I knew I could something there, I was targetting the stage win but I didn't expect to take the golden jersey."

That said it all I think.

yeah Aitor sounds like the Italian road race team at the worlds ;-)
A couple of great quotes...atpjunkie
Sep 23, 2002 3:19 PM
and let me guess, because of the mountain and bad weather "my radio didn't work and I didn't hear my director screaming at me..." or "my earpiece fell out..." "I need mirrors"

"oops my bad" I don't think cuts it