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  1. #1
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    why is it in [a team's] interest to "protect the yellow jersey" now? *spoiler*

    Is it just Tour tradition that the team who currently has the yellow jersey should do the pacemaking? Why is it necessarily in the interest of the team?

    Let's say that Floyd had finished at least 8 seconds slower than he did today in stage 11, or that our friend from Ag2r had finished at least 8 seconds faster. In either case, Dessel would have kept the yellow jersey, in all likelihood through the upcoming stages until the Alps.

    Now, people are saying that it might have been better if Floyd had not taken the overall lead, because now his teammates will have to tire themselves to "defend the jersey" by chasing down breakaways, etc.

    To me, given that Landis has said that "it only really matters if you wear yellow at the finish," it seems that Phonak's tactics have no reason to be any different than if Dessel had kept the yellow jersey. Whether Floyd was 8 seconds behind Dessel, or 8 seconds ahead, his team's aim should be the same: set their man up to be wearing yellow at the end of the race, whether he takes it now or later.

    And maybe Phonak's aims/goals aren't any different currently than they would be if Dessel had kept the overall lead. It's just that now, Dessel's team doesn't have reason to chase down breakaways, whereas they would have had their man kept the overall lead. So now Phonak has no other teams to share the chasing load. But it seems as if Rabobank and other teams with high-placed possible winners also have reason to chase down breakaways, as much as does Phonak in these next few days.

  2. #2
    DocRay
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    the time gap is too close to defend the jersey.

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    I think it's not so much what Phonak wants to do, as it is what the other teams won't do. When you're in yellow, like it or not you're the top team, and other teams will not help you.

    CSC and Rabobank might have the same goal as Phonak, but they won't help the team with the yellow jersey unless they absolutely have to, or unless they give up on first place and start defending a podium spot. So, Phonak will end up working unassisted.

    Let's say Andreas Kloden goes on the attack tomorrow - Phonak will have to chase to limit time losses, but Rabobank and CSC might just sit in and figure any shakeup is a good thing. Let Kloden and Phonak tire each other out, we'll wait till tomorrow to strike.

    This year's Tour is just so crazy, with so many top favorites out, that the yellow jersey is like a hot potato. It's good to be a wild card when you're playing chicken - nobody knows what you'll do, or what you're capable of. It's bad to be the favorite, because nobody's going to help you.

    It may have been tactically smarter for Floyd to have let Dessel keep the jersey for another day, but I think once Kloden et al were dropped, he had to ride as hard as he could to take time out of them.

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    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by same time
    I think it's not so much what Phonak wants to do, as it is what the other teams won't do. When you're in yellow, like it or not you're the top team, and other teams will not help you.
    Yeah, that's what I was thinking was the only explanation that made sense to me. Kind of too bad. Axel Mercxx (I think - at least some Phonak man) was in Dessel's group at the finish; I was thinking, if Phonak was smart, they would have had him leading out for Dessel during that last bit, though it would have looked weird.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by same time
    I think it's not so much what Phonak wants to do, as it is what the other teams won't do. When you're in yellow, like it or not you're the top team, and other teams will not help you.

    CSC and Rabobank might have the same goal as Phonak, but they won't help the team with the yellow jersey unless they absolutely have to, or unless they give up on first place and start defending a podium spot. So, Phonak will end up working unassisted.

    Let's say Andreas Kloden goes on the attack tomorrow - Phonak will have to chase to limit time losses, but Rabobank and CSC might just sit in and figure any shakeup is a good thing. Let Kloden and Phonak tire each other out, we'll wait till tomorrow to strike.

    This year's Tour is just so crazy, with so many top favorites out, that the yellow jersey is like a hot potato. It's good to be a wild card when you're playing chicken - nobody knows what you'll do, or what you're capable of. It's bad to be the favorite, because nobody's going to help you.

    It may have been tactically smarter for Floyd to have let Dessel keep the jersey for another day, but I think once Kloden et al were dropped, he had to ride as hard as he could to take time out of them.
    Good post
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    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by same time
    I think it's not so much what Phonak wants to do, as it is what the other teams won't do. When you're in yellow, like it or not you're the top team, and other teams will not help you.

    CSC and Rabobank might have the same goal as Phonak, but they won't help the team with the yellow jersey unless they absolutely have to, or unless they give up on first place and start defending a podium spot. So, Phonak will end up working unassisted.

    Let's say Andreas Kloden goes on the attack tomorrow - Phonak will have to chase to limit time losses, but Rabobank and CSC might just sit in and figure any shakeup is a good thing. Let Kloden and Phonak tire each other out, we'll wait till tomorrow to strike.

    This year's Tour is just so crazy, with so many top favorites out, that the yellow jersey is like a hot potato. It's good to be a wild card when you're playing chicken - nobody knows what you'll do, or what you're capable of. It's bad to be the favorite, because nobody's going to help you.

    It may have been tactically smarter for Floyd to have let Dessel keep the jersey for another day, but I think once Kloden et al were dropped, he had to ride as hard as he could to take time out of them.
    I'd only add that if you add in just a little more it explains why breaks get caught near the end. If you are the team defending yellow there is one time you will not just get help, but several other teams will be so glsad to give it that you have no work to do at all. That is when you are near the end of a stage with a flat finish and 'reasonably' close to a break. Then teh teams of the sprinters will do the final work. This means if you chase down a break early you have to do all the work to chase it down, just to now have to try to prevent the next break. If however you just chase enough for the sprinters teams to see they can chase it down and have enough left for a leadout they will do the work and you get to rest for the last 20 miles or so. If the stage has been rough or it is late in the tour so there are only one or two sprinters left it does not change much, if anything it makes it so the remaining sprinters teams are even more willing to work. If you have the only real sprinter left then you just have to catch the break, no need for much of a leadout and no need to worry about some other sprinters team having more left at the end.

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    That it's a disadvantage to lead because then you "have to defend" is one of these sports things that is much repeated, but doesn't make any sense if you think about for more than three seconds. "Pitching is 80% of the game", or "offense sells tickets but defense wins championships" are the same in that respect.

    The point, at bottom, is that two things are equally bad for any team who wants the MJ *at the end of the day*, as opposed to the end of three weeks. The first is losing the MJ one held the day before. The second is not taking the MJ from the team that held it the previous day when one was very close.

    It's the idea that the second thing is better than the first that gives rise to all of these fallacies. But if you notice what teams actually do when they have a close *chance* for the MJ it's he same as what teams who hold the MJ do: try to get the MJ at the end of the day. Other teams respond to these efforts similarly.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merriwether
    That it's a disadvantage to lead because then you "have to defend" is one of these sports things that is much repeated, but doesn't make any sense if you think about for more than three seconds. "Pitching is 80% of the game", or "offense sells tickets but defense wins championships" are the same in that respect.

    The point, at bottom, is that two things are equally bad for any team who wants the MJ *at the end of the day*, as opposed to the end of three weeks. The first is losing the MJ one held the day before. The second is not taking the MJ from the team that held it the previous day when one was very close.

    It's the idea that the second thing is better than the first that gives rise to all of these fallacies. But if you notice what teams actually do when they have a close *chance* for the MJ it's he same as what teams who hold the MJ do: try to get the MJ at the end of the day. Other teams respond to these efforts similarly.
    You have many factors influencing the "defence" or not of a MJ. Look at stage 11:

    From Landis point of view: Kloden has been dropped, and Landis is not interested in MJ. What does he do? accelerate and get MJ, having to defend it, or not accelerate, and risk Kloden coming back on him? Dilemma

    From Moreau's point of view: he was seen debating heavily with DS, because team riders putting too much effort in helping Dessel in keeping his MJ, instead of supporting him for the future.

    You'll always have these discussions on who should do what.

    f tomorrow Leipheimer (or anyone else) tries an early break, and Phonak decide not to chase him, other teams might just as well stay put, and Leipheimer can easily gain 10 to 15 minutes, already seen before, with Walkowiak for instance, total nobody, winning the Tour in 56 (?).
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    Let's put it another way. You could just as convincingly say that the close, 2nd-place team is the one with the pressure, because to get the MJ they must attack, whereas the team with the MJ needs only maintain the status quo. (Notice this is often said when it comes to winning the whole three week race.)

    I say "just as convincingly" because I think the above way of putting things is wrong, too.

    In the end, when it comes to any race prize-- daily MJ, the whole race, green jersey, whatever-- any team aspiring to the prize has to defeat all of its rivals for that prize. This fact is the same whether the asiprant is just ahead or just behind at some intermediate point. Whether the team is just ahead or just behind, the pressure to attack or defend, depending on one's position, is the same.

  10. #10
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99
    I'd only add that if you add in just a little more it explains why breaks get caught near the end. If you are the team defending yellow there is one time you will not just get help, but several other teams will be so glsad to give it that you have no work to do at all. That is when you are near the end of a stage with a flat finish and 'reasonably' close to a break. Then teh teams of the sprinters will do the final work. This means if you chase down a break early you have to do all the work to chase it down, just to now have to try to prevent the next break. If however you just chase enough for the sprinters teams to see they can chase it down and have enough left for a leadout they will do the work and you get to rest for the last 20 miles or so. If the stage has been rough or it is late in the tour so there are only one or two sprinters left it does not change much, if anything it makes it so the remaining sprinters teams are even more willing to work. If you have the only real sprinter left then you just have to catch the break, no need for much of a leadout and no need to worry about some other sprinters team having more left at the end.
    that's the beauty of the rolling chess game. Different teams and different riders have different goals, whether its one of the Jerseys, a spot on the podium, or a stage win. The art is determining everyone else's motivation, and playing off of them to your advantage.

  11. #11
    Senior Member skyrider's Avatar
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    It is an awesome chess game agree. I think you take what is given to you on that day and react based on your overall strategy i.e. what does Popovich and Disco do now? Does CsC seat back and continue to watch? This is an awesome sporting event.

  12. #12
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Well, I enjoyed watching Phonak's tactics today - sit and see if anyone else wants to pull. Periero isn't a threat to hold the MJ through the alps, and Phonak may as well let another team "defend" for a day - and Periero's team will, because they just want to hold onto the jersey temporarily, I doubt they think thier man is a podium threat after losing 26 minutes on stage 11.

    When Rabobank came to the front late in today's stage, I actually thought their motive might be to push the pace so that Floyd would stay in yellow and Phonak would have to defend yet another day before the mountains. Nobody on OLN was saying that though.

    What was most amusing was OLN's commentators acting all surprised that Phonak would be willing to give up the overall lead, as if taking the MJ into stage 14 was the team's goal or something.

  13. #13
    meb
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    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery
    Well, I enjoyed watching Phonak's tactics today - sit and see if anyone else wants to pull. Periero isn't a threat to hold the MJ through the alps, and Phonak may as well let another team "defend" for a day - and Periero's team will, because they just want to hold onto the jersey temporarily, I doubt they think thier man is a podium threat after losing 26 minutes on stage 11.

    When Rabobank came to the front late in today's stage, I actually thought their motive might be to push the pace so that Floyd would stay in yellow and Phonak would have to defend yet another day before the mountains. Nobody on OLN was saying that though.

    What was most amusing was OLN's commentators acting all surprised that Phonak would be willing to give up the overall lead, as if taking the MJ into stage 14 was the team's goal or something.
    How do you figure Perioro's no threat to hold the yellow in the Alps? He's particularly strong in the Alps, has even shown the ability to break away successfully on consecutive mountain stages, and was runnerup last year to Rassmussen for the dots. He might even break away there to build up some time margin on Floyd before the TT.

  14. #14
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meb
    How do you figure Perioro's no threat to hold the yellow in the Alps? He's particularly strong in the Alps, has even shown the ability to break away successfully on consecutive mountain stages, and was runnerup last year to Rassmussen for the dots. He might even break away there to build up some time margin on Floyd before the TT.
    Periero is an aggressive rider, but to my knowledge he has never stuck with the big boys when they lay the hammer down in a TdF mountain stage. His mountain-stage breakaways last year (both in the Pyrenees, I think) were cases in which he was allowed to go up the road because he was not considered an overall threat. Phonak will cover any breakaway attempts that he tries from now on, and I'm pretty sure that he knows it.

    As for dots, quite often the polka-dot winner is the "best climber" who sprints for points early in the stage that few others care about, and isn't there for the line that counts more - the finish. Rasmussen's performance last year was different - he was in the podium mix until the final ITT.

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    Senior Member godspiral's Avatar
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    This was a wussy move by phonak, and shows weakness.

    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery
    Phonak will cover any breakaway attempts that he tries from now on, and I'm pretty sure that he knows it.
    But Pereiro doesn't need to break away from now on... just needs to keep up with Landis. I guess betting on Landis's TT advantage is fairly safe.

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    But Pereiro doesn't need to break away from now on... just needs to keep up with Landis. I guess betting on Landis's TT advantage is fairly safe.
    If he could keep up with Landis he would have last year, we would have him down as one of the contendors this year, and he would never have been allowed to build up a 30 minute advantage

  17. #17
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Pereiro was 10th for the past 2 years which also include decidedly stronger
    riders than this year. I believe he can hold his own in the alps.
    All his team has to do tomorrow is cover breaks by GC contenders
    and anyone close enough to claim MJ.
    I still think it was a poor tactical move for Phonak to allow
    the break to go as far out as it did.

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  18. #18
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Uh, see what I said above about Periero.
    Also, I just did some checking, and Periero did not come close to staying with the best climbers in stages when he wasn't already out on a breakaway. On the kick-*** mountain stages when Periero hadn't broken away early, he usually lost 7-8 minutes. The only reason that he finished 10th was that he was in three major breakaways that gained significant time on the peloton. And those breaks were not covered because the peloton did not consider him a threat. He may well finish 10th this year, but he's not a podium threat unless they spot him another 15 minutes at least.

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    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Also, it's worth noting that Periero rode for Phonak last year, so both Landis and John Lelangue know as well as anyone the degree to which Periero is a threat.

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    Senior Member godspiral's Avatar
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    The guy can climb, and doesnt he usualy have a team support role? It must make a difference to get team help to minimize your effort, and pushing yourself to stay yellow going into TT must bring out a different effort level than comming 20th instead of 30th.

    Do you at least think, his team will work for him instead of Karpets?

    Is Landis a good enough climber that he can repeat the performance on Menchov's win, on next week's 5000m climb? I didn't think he was recognized as one of the stronger climbers, and instead the rep was that he could hang in mountains, and TT very well.

    Today, showed me that phonak is desperate for some rest.

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    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godspiral
    The guy can climb, and doesnt he usualy have a team support role? It must make a difference to get team help to minimize your effort, and pushing yourself to stay yellow going into TT must bring out a different effort level than comming 20th instead of 30th.
    Do you at least think, his team will work for him instead of Karpets?
    Is Landis a good enough climber that he can repeat the performance on Menchov's win, on next week's 5000m climb? I didn't think he was recognized as one of the stronger climbers, and instead the rep was that he could hang in mountains, and TT very well.
    Today, showed me that phonak is desperate for some rest.
    Last year Periero, Botero and Landis all road for themselves, as I understood it.

    Phonak may well be desperate for some rest, and if so, all the more reason to play the tactics that they did. I still don't think that Periero is a meaningful threat to GC. Unless he pulls out something that he's not shown in previous grand tours.

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    Stats on Eurosport yesterday. He lost an average of 20 minutes on the eventual winner in the alps and pyrenees combined in the last two tours.

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    It wasn't just Phonak that let Periero into the G.C. lead. The teams of Mechov, Evans, Sastre, and Kloden did it, too. If Periero really was *that* big of a deal, one of those other teams would have reacted. After all, these guys are now further behind Periero than Landis is. And they would be more at risk of losing a podium place than Landis would be.

    In fact, the reason no public commentators are complaining about the tactics of these other teams is because they don't think Periero is really a threat to finish high in the whole race. They're only fastening onto Phonak because of the obsession with the "defending the (daily) jersey" business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by godspiral
    Is Landis a good enough climber that he can repeat the performance on Menchov's win, on next week's 5000m climb? I didn't think he was recognized as one of the stronger climbers, and instead the rep was that he could hang in mountains, and TT very well.

    Today, showed me that phonak is desperate for some rest.
    Its unlikely that Landis will finish the tour ahead of Pereiro now, so the lack of wisdom for that move is exposed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by godspiral
    Its unlikely that Landis will finish the tour ahead of Pereiro now, so the lack of wisdom for that move is exposed.
    Huh?

    Phonak for two days in a row has only Axel to support Landis in the mountians. After Axel finally burned out how many riders did Telekom have left? 5?

    And you are saying that Phonak should have worked harder and had even less left as a team leading up to this stage?

    Now if you were to argue that the other teams made a mistake by leaving all the work to Phonak you would have a point. But the counter to that is that if they had worked more they would have had less in the Mountians and Phonak (being able to sit in) would have had more. Perhaps enough more that Landis would not have cracked.

    Of course today was the day when Landis had no friends. Tomorrow it wil be Pereiro's turn.

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