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Ullrichs tactical idiocy?(9 posts)

Ullrichs tactical idiocy?Tom C
Jul 21, 2003 12:37 PM
Was anybody else here astonished that Ullrich, a remarkably poor descender would attack on the Tourmalet with a 20 km descent to follow to the foot of Luz Ardiden, the final climb? Of course we won't know whether this was his idea or his director sportifs until the excuses are sorted out, but besides exploding the race it seemed pretty clear that his best approach would have been to mark Armstrong and at least retain his 15 second deficit or make his push on the slopes of Luz Ardiden. Even when it became apparent that his "brilliant attack" (Phil and Paul's characterization) was not going to even remotely succeed he persisted in pushing the pace and you have to wonder how much it cost him later on Luz. The net effect was to drop Vino who later caught back on at Luz and to play a card he really never needed to play. Perhaps he felt he didn't have another commanding TT in him, I don't know. I myself don't really care for Armstrong but I'll hand him this; he rode a tactically astute race which at this point may not be over but at least his head is completely in it. My .02.
Yes, I wasEman
Jul 21, 2003 12:51 PM
I think that was why Lance started to follow Jan, then slowed down. My guess is that a little voice in his ear told him that Jan was making a big mistake. Lance (or the trainers) knew he could make up time on the descent and then blow by Ullrich on the final climb. He might have anyways, clearly Jan thought so or he wouldn't have taken this risk.
I think that Lance slowed down because...James OCLV
Jul 21, 2003 1:03 PM
Ullrich put him into the "red" zone. If Lance would have kept up that pace at that point, he would have blown up before the last climb and been unable to execute his plan. It was the smart thing for Lance to do. Ullrich is the challenger; he's really got nothing to loose. It's up to him to "test the leader", not the other way around. It's Lance's race to loose...
Jul 21, 2003 1:50 PM
I know the commentators on OLN said that, but I actually think it was more a realization that Jan's strategy was flawed, and that Jan was likely to be unable to escape and that even if he did, the descent would allow Lance to bridge.
Absolutely!James OCLV
Jul 21, 2003 7:13 PM
That was exactly my point - I don't think that Lance thought it was worth expending the energy required to chase Ullrich. He probably thought that even if Jan opened up a gap on the Tourmalet, he would be able to catch him on the decent/final climb. Lance probably figured that it was safer (from a tactical standpoint) to just pace himself and save his energy for the final climb.
I don't think that it was a bad move...James OCLV
Jul 21, 2003 12:58 PM
Racing is pretty much a crap-shoot. You've got to take your chances when they come (Vino) and try to anticipate what your rivals are going to do.

EVERYBODY knew that if Lance was going to attack, it would have been on the last climb (this has pretty much been his MO for the last 4 years). Ullrich probably figured that if he could throw a spanner into Lance's plan and maybe catch him off-guard, he could catch a break. Maybe it would stick, maybe it wouldn't. I don't think that he was any worse off for it, and if anything maybe he took something out of Lance (he only put 40" into Ullrich when in the past it would have been ~2').
I don't think that it was a bad move...Spoiler
Jul 21, 2003 1:40 PM
I don't remember how teammates Lance had with him, but maybe Jan though USPS were going to try to pull another Alpe d'Huez where the team pulls so hard they blow everybody, then launch Lance. Jan wanted to just throw in a testing attack to test Lance and break up any USPS leadout train. Maybe he though Lance had just enough power to mark him, but not to follow an attack.

It's also possible Jan's attack was mean't for Vino, not Lance.
re: Ullrichs tactical idiocy?Mel Erickson
Jul 21, 2003 1:28 PM
I think maybe Jan was trying to put the hurt on Lance, not necessarilly gain time at that particular moment. If you feel you're the one with more reserves why not extend the other guy, especially when it's Armstongs MO to go for the kill on the last climb. Tire him out so he can't work you over on Ardinens. Didn't work, partly because Lance didn't bite and partly because it was Lance, not Jan, that had more reserves. It's really a cat and mouse game and when you're the mouse you gotta take chances. Plus, Lance has always had Jan's number. I wouldn't be surprised if Jan had a little bit of doubt in his mind about beating Lance again in the next ITT and therefore felt he had to make a try on this stage.
Here's a quote from EurosportMel Erickson
Jul 21, 2003 1:52 PM
Ullrich is quoted as saying, "Well I tried. It did not work but it allowed me to test his real worth," he said. Me thinks he was trying to wear down Armstrong and see what he had left in the bank.