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Old 07-13-06, 02:41 PM   #1
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Discovery - no plan?

I am sure that Bruneel knows exactly what he is doing, and that I am just being ignorant.........

What I have seen in the past is US Postal showing up with a plan. I was always amazed that professional teams could show up and not know who was going to be their lead guy. A professional team that just sends all of their guys out to see what each of them can do for themselves has proven to be unsuccessful in the last few years. I couldn't believe that other teams didn't organize better after seeing how well if worked for Postal. Postal always looked like a fine oiled machine in the peloton. They also made most other teams look like recreational riders in the team time trial. (missing this year - different rant.)

And now, Discovery is doing exact opposite of the strategy that allowed them to dominate as a team. I just don't get it???

At first, I thought they were just keeping the media heat off of Hincapie. Now, I think they really don't have a plan.

Maybe it really was the Lance show after all....................
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Old 07-13-06, 02:54 PM   #2
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I think Mssr. Bruyneel was under the impression that if he didn't name a leader, he'd have 3-4 riders high up on GC battling for the right to be "the man". Evidently, his experiment in psychology didn't turn out as he anticipated, and things aren't looking so good at the moment. If I were him, I'd abandon the GC fight, and go for stage wins and the team title (although that's looking rather dim about now too).

<edit> It's easy to second guess after the fact. I suspect that others involved with managing the team played a role in approving the strategy as well.
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Old 07-13-06, 06:15 PM   #3
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I think they have or had a plan, but if the riders cant carry out the plan physically it doesn't really matter. Hincapie didn't appear capable of going with the Landis break today even though he needed too. Later.
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Old 07-13-06, 06:57 PM   #4
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Plans work best when you have some idea of what to plan for and have some time to plan.

For almost or perhaps even all the teams this year the plans went out the window 1 day before the tour started. Even teams who did not lose riders suddenly saw what they planned for gone. If you have no idea who to mark things get complicated. Add in that riders who before had no chance just might jump off the front and show something and it is a mess for the planners.

Fun for us though.
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Old 07-13-06, 07:55 PM   #5
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I think the problem is "No Man", not "No Plan"!
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Old 07-13-06, 09:11 PM   #6
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Did Hincapie bonk the daylights out of himself on the TT, and is it possible he's still recovering? It's inexplicable that he is unable to even keep up with the main chase group on today's stage. He trained all year to do well in the mountains...
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Old 07-13-06, 09:17 PM   #7
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You have to wonder if George being laid up for so long with the shoulder injury this year is the problem, or if all the expectations were just too high from the get-go. I couldn't believe how fast Salvodelli got dropped. Iwish for Discovery's sake Jose could have at least held on to the very end.
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Old 07-13-06, 09:54 PM   #8
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Hm well... it could just be that Hincapie couldn't follow the tempo today and that all the post-Lance hype is magnifying the heck out of his floundering.
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Old 07-14-06, 05:16 AM   #9
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You guys are amazing......You get a 'once in a generation' rider like Lance & you still expect his team to perform like he was still there?...theres nothing wrong with the Disco team, they just don't have any riders capable of dominating TDF as they have in the last 7 years.....In must be a terrible shock for you to have to come to terms with the fact that Lances domestiques are in fact only very good riders, some better than that, but mostly no better or worse than 90% of the rest of the peleton. And Bruyneel as a DS?......pretty easy job I'd reckon when you have someone like lance....lets see how he handles having to do the 'hard yards' with the lesser lights. Don't be to quick to turn on the Disco's...they'll stilll win there share of races...just not the TDF.... this year
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Old 07-14-06, 05:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitchy
...theres nothing wrong with the Disco team, they just don't have any riders capable of dominating TDF as they have in the last 7 years...
If they keep going the way they have today they won't just have no riders capable of dominating, they'll have no riders full stop.

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There are just seven riders left in the Discovery Channel team. Benjamin Noval is the latest to quit the Tour; joining team-mate Paolo Savoldelli who stepped off at the 43km mark.
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Old 07-14-06, 05:49 AM   #11
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If they keep going the way they have today they won't just have no riders capable of dominating, they'll have no riders full stop.

Don't know the details but Savoldelli is reported to be as a result of a 'post stage crash with a spectator!
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Old 07-14-06, 05:52 AM   #12
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I think they have or had a plan, but if the riders cant carry out the plan physically it doesn't really matter. Hincapie didn't appear capable of going with the Landis break today even though he needed too. Later.
+1

I dont think they know wtf to do.


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Old 07-14-06, 06:21 AM   #13
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Hincapie for the win! ha ha ha
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Old 07-14-06, 09:59 AM   #14
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Hey Disco, there's your man. You might as well support Popo and see if you can get him in the top 5. That would be considered success although I'm sure noone is going to let him go anymore and can he climb with the boys??

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Old 07-14-06, 10:11 AM   #15
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Agreed.

Support the Pop Man now....he has a chance for the podium if he can climb the Alps better than he did in the Pyrennes...and has that support.

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Old 07-14-06, 10:17 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Hitchy
You guys are amazing......You get a 'once in a generation' rider like Lance & you still expect his team to perform like he was still there?
I don't think that is what people expect. But they do wonder why Disco riders seem to be placing LOWER in stages than they were in previous years when they were 'wasting' energy protecting Lance. Why is it that riders who in the part would be helping launch Lance on the final climb by setting the pace more than half way up that final climb, are now out the back before they even hit the bottom of that climb?

Of course people do seem to forget that George and Eki are not the youngest guys out there. (Actually I think Eki may have been the oldest guy in the Tour LAST year). History has often shown that when age finally hits a rider it hits hard.

I'm rather surprised that no one has mentioned that it might be that Disco has decided to be cleaner than clean in this tour.
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Old 07-14-06, 10:33 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith99
I don't think that is what people expect. But they do wonder why Disco riders seem to be placing LOWER in stages than they were in previous years when they were 'wasting' energy protecting Lance. Why is it that riders who in the part would be helping launch Lance on the final climb by setting the pace more than half way up that final climb, are now out the back before they even hit the bottom of that climb?

Of course people do seem to forget that George and Eki are not the youngest guys out there. (Actually I think Eki may have been the oldest guy in the Tour LAST year). History has often shown that when age finally hits a rider it hits hard.

I'm rather surprised that no one has mentioned that it might be that Disco has decided to be cleaner than clean in this tour.
I agree with all of this, but you will recall that all of Discovery (except Lance) had a couple bad days in the mountains. It's easier to look good on 80% of the mountain stages if you aren't concerned about your time on the other 20%, than if you have to fight every day for a high position in GC.

I realize it's second guessing, and that loyalty and history are certainly factors in the decision, but I have to wonder what benefit Discovery have had by including Ekimov in this year's tour. I don't see him as filling a role that others on the team couldn't, and he's no longer a threat to stay away on a break. Any thoughts on that that?
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Old 07-14-06, 10:38 AM   #18
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I read that Eki used to live for the team time trial, well obviously that wasn't a factor this year. Maybe out of loyalty they let him ride one last time, but it would have been nice to bring along a younger rider with future potential.
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Old 07-14-06, 02:56 PM   #19
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and has that support.
What - a hugely reduced team operating at about half-strength?
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Old 07-14-06, 03:04 PM   #20
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What - a hugely reduced team operating at about half-strength?
Yes, exactly.
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Old 07-14-06, 03:58 PM   #21
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I agree with all of this, but you will recall that all of Discovery (except Lance) had a couple bad days in the mountains. It's easier to look good on 80% of the mountain stages if you aren't concerned about your time on the other 20%, than if you have to fight every day for a high position in GC.

I realize it's second guessing, and that loyalty and history are certainly factors in the decision, but I have to wonder what benefit Discovery have had by including Ekimov in this year's tour. I don't see him as filling a role that others on the team couldn't, and he's no longer a threat to stay away on a break. Any thoughts on that that?
Isn't he pretty high on the all time list of TDF starts (and finishes). That could be part of it. If Disco plans on being arround for a while it can pay off to establish that you let loyal team members establish themself in the record books as opposed to throwing them away when they are used up.

Also he is still pretty solid. Lance is gone. That means a gap in leadership and continuity. If things seem in disarray now think what they would be like without George and Eki.

I'm also not sure what they have in the way of younger riders. Often there can be a problem bringing up a young rider to the tour too soon. Some pretty good riders either waited until they were ready (Eddy) or tried to wait (Felice Gimondi). Riders have been ruined by being in the Tour spotlight too soon. Perhaps Disco wanted to have at least one year without Lance before throwing in any unblooded riders. Look at some of the comments in htis thread and think how they might effect a young rider. Better to have expectations lowered before throwing new riders into the mix.
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Old 07-14-06, 07:37 PM   #22
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Isn't he pretty high on the all time list of TDF starts (and finishes). That could be part of it. If Disco plans on being arround for a while it can pay off to establish that you let loyal team members establish themself in the record books as opposed to throwing them away when they are used up.

Also he is still pretty solid. Lance is gone. That means a gap in leadership and continuity. If things seem in disarray now think what they would be like without George and Eki.

I'm also not sure what they have in the way of younger riders. Often there can be a problem bringing up a young rider to the tour too soon. Some pretty good riders either waited until they were ready (Eddy) or tried to wait (Felice Gimondi). Riders have been ruined by being in the Tour spotlight too soon. Perhaps Disco wanted to have at least one year without Lance before throwing in any unblooded riders. Look at some of the comments in htis thread and think how they might effect a young rider. Better to have expectations lowered before throwing new riders into the mix.
Yes, I understand and can buy your reasoning with regard to loyalty. Experience - yes he has a lot, but they are full of veteran riders on the squad. Rubiera, Azevedo, Padrnos, Noval and Savoldelli also all have considerable experience in grand tours. Martinez is the "new kid", and I think he was a great choice. I understand why Danielson is being held back, because there was a big press release explaining the selections.

I saw that Guisev and Barry were named as alternates for the Tour - meaning that Bruyneel gave some thought to including them. Barry is a solid all-rounder, journeyman sort of rider, who rides well in the peleton. Guisev has shown (in Paris-Roubaix [despite being disqualified with Hoste for passing through the rail crossing], and in the Tour of Switzerland), that he's quite an aggressive rider who is a serious threat to take a stage win. Padrnos, Noval & Ekimov (IMO) realistically pose no threat to winning stages. The other riders on the team possess greater potential to successfully pull something off.

Obviously, not being associated with the team, there's plenty I don't know. I was pretty much fishing to see if someone had any insight into reasons beyond the fairly obvious. It seems to me that, if loyalty were not a big consideration, the decision might have been different.
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Old 07-14-06, 08:13 PM   #23
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Hi.

I hate being a butt-insky, but I've just deleted a smattering of posts with spoilers. I'll ask that posters in this thread NOT post spoilers of the same day outside the thread created for that stage. Give people at least the day to watch it for themselves if they've tivo'ed or recorded it, ok?

I'd rather not delete this thread out- it's a good discussion, but at least one person claims it's just too difficult to participate in this thread without revealing spoilers. I thoroughly disagree. I'll give you all credit and believe you all can pull it off, alll-iiiiggghhht?

Thanks!

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Old 07-14-06, 08:41 PM   #24
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Hi.

I hate being a butt-insky, but I've just deleted a smattering of posts with spoilers. I'll ask that posters in this thread NOT post spoilers of the same day outside the thread created for that stage. Give people at least the day to watch it for themselves if they've tivo'ed or recorded it, ok?

I'd rather not delete this thread out- it's a good discussion, but at least one person claims it's just too difficult to participate in this thread without revealing spoilers. I thoroughly disagree. I'll give you all credit and believe you all can pull it off, alll-iiiiggghhht?

Thanks!

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Ok , given that the last run on Oln is over, I'm assuming I can comment. Bruyneel said this morning the plan was now to win stages. How can you have a meanignful dicsussion of that plan without discussing how they tried to execute that plan today and with what success?

I can understand no spoilers in the titles, but I really don't get how you have to ignore the most relevant data available and act like it didn't happen when commenting on a thread such as this.
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Old 07-15-06, 07:04 AM   #25
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I think Mssr. Bruyneel was under the impression that if he didn't name a leader, he'd have 3-4 riders high up on GC battling for the right to be "the man". Evidently, his experiment in psychology didn't turn out as he anticipated, and things aren't looking so good at the moment. If I were him, I'd abandon the GC fight, and go for stage wins and the team title (although that's looking rather dim about now too).

<edit> It's easy to second guess after the fact. I suspect that others involved with managing the team played a role in approving the strategy as well.
Perhaps even Lance himself.
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