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Old 05-23-01, 01:06 PM   #1
dirtsqueezer
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Neophyte Race Question - Giro d'Italia

Stage 4 the A.P. reports:
Quote:
Mexican Julio Perez Cuapio was stopped by a broken chain about 2 1/2 miles from the finish as he was heading toward a possible solo victory. The Mexican cyclist threw his bike away in anger and stood helpless along the road as he was passed by the pursuers.
What happens when you have a major mechanical? Where does neutral support come in? Is it limited to a change of wheels or can the rider get a bike? Was it just that the pursuers were only a few seconds behind so any mechanical problems would cost a victory at that critical point?

Thanks.
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Old 05-24-01, 07:44 AM   #2
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I watched it last night. It was heartbreaking to see. Perez was already starting to struggle a little, but he might have been able to hold on for the King of the Mountains jersey, his ambition since he started racing.

Since Dirtsqueezer has raised the question, I have been wondering, what about rear wheels from neutral service? Some riders have Campy Record 10-speed, some Shimano Dura Ace 9-speed. In Paris-Roubaix, a number of rear punctures were exchanged by neutral service. Do they have wheels with both kinds of cassettes and know what riders are using what? They seem to have the wheels there ready with no hesitation. They can't just slap on an incompatible cassette. And do they sort everything out at the end or do the wheels just keep rotating around as people need them?

Humorous aside: As we were watching the Giro coverage last night (well, I was watching), Rainbabe, who was reading, asked "How much longer is this on?"
I said, "Through June 10th."
To which she replied, "You mean you will be watching this every night until June 10th?"
"No, there are a couple of rest days, and tomorrow, there is one hour of another race, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, THEN the Giro coverage!"
Somehow that did not seem to excite her as much as it did me. Go figure.
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Old 05-24-01, 08:29 AM   #3
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Watched the last half hour of stage 4 last night. Perez had a 30 second lead when we broke his chain, the pursuers gobbled that up immediately. Ba-Dg-Er nailed it.

It would have been fantastic to see if Perez could have held his lead. That was some amazing speed they showed on that climb to the finish. These late nights with OLN are going to kill me at work. I only wish they could get a little cleaner link from the bike cameras.

Like Raymond, I'm interested in how they work the mechanics of the neutral support. The only races I've been in had one sag wagon with a handful of wheels sweeping the course. It's a different world out there!
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Old 05-24-01, 09:20 AM   #4
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I know, Dirtsqueezer. And the gears! They were talking about Pantani climbing to Alpe d'Huez last year in 52/17. I know that is not such a big gear to you more experienced guys, but I am pretty new. I have to be feeling pretty frisky to push that on the flat so making a climb like that in such a big gear is beyond my comprehension.
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Old 05-24-01, 04:26 PM   #5
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Guys,

Check out this month's Velonews (the one with Dekker on the cover and Lance behind him). It has an article about the Mavic neutral support team and it's written by Lenard Zinn. Very interesting stuff. You guys here in the US are very lucky....bike paths, trails...and Velonews. Wish we had Velonews in the Philippines too!
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Old 05-24-01, 08:54 PM   #6
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Talk about pushing the big gears... what would it take to break a chain? There must have been a rivet that wasn't pushed all the way through, or something. Those guys are phenomenal.

Raymond, Badger, those words could have just as easily been uttered by the Bike Widow, although I don't know if I would have had the guts to tell her that there was over 2 weeks more to come!
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Old 05-25-01, 08:26 AM   #7
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I know, Ba-Dg-Er! Poor little Julio Perez just can't catch a break! Did you see that crash? One guy's carbon fork just snapped right off. First the camera was showing the warped front wheel with broken fork blades still attached to the QR. They panned over and found the bike. The poor rider, not Perez, was 30-40 meters down the road where he had slid/tumbled. Ouch! Then later, one of the ONCE guys was up by the team car, at 40-50 kph with the mechanic HANGING OUT THE WINDOW, HOLDING ONTO THE BIKE, REACHING OVER THE BIKE, to get a piece of plastic stuck in the cassette. BAM! rider hits a little bump but can't quite recover because the mech has a grip on his seatpost. Down he goes. You should have seen the horrified look on the mech's face. Man, did he feel bad. Later the camera showed the rider's rear end, gaping holes torn in his shorts. Only the padding kept it from being slightly obscene. Tough stage for some of the guys.

Ba-Dg-Er, what are you doing up that late (time of your post)? You need your rest for riding, young man!
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Old 05-25-01, 08:54 AM   #8
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Man, I am feeling for Perez! That is one rider I hope to see more of oer the next few years.

Was it just my cable company or was the color/contrast way off on last night's coverage? The picture just seemed to bleed something fierce, including the studio coverage. I know the problems with microwave linkup from the motor bikes is one thing but this was almost unwatchable.

Second question -
Why do some of the riders wear their soft cycling caps under the helmet? Is it strictly a sponsorship/ uniform thing? I can't see any function in it.
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