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Old 07-17-07, 11:22 AM   #1
blanqui
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make Rasmussen choose: Yellow or KOM

If the chicken recovers well on the flat stages he may do "o.k." in the Pyrenees. I REALLY hope that someone challenges him for the KOM. Rasmussen has 98 points after today; Soler has 79 and Popovych has 69. From a team tactics point of view it would be the simplest thing in the world to make Rasmussen choose between the KOM and the Maillot Jaune. Clearly, this reality check would see Rasmussen immediately give up the Maillot Jaune to hold on to polka-dots.
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Old 07-17-07, 11:25 AM   #2
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I am sure riders will be fighting hard for KOM points, but I am sure the other teams would rather Ras keep yellow for the next few days.

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Old 07-17-07, 11:31 AM   #3
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Well, of course he may well be forced to choose. If he wants to win the overall, he can't go chase down a suicidal all-day break in search of KoM points. There's a reason why although the overall winner is usually one of (if not THE) best climber in the race but nobody has won both in a LONG time (Eddy Merckx, '70, I think?). Even Pantani didn't win KoM in '98 though he was clearly the best climber and I believe Lance probably could've won several if he'd wanted to. So nobody has to sit him down and ask him - the race is gonna ask him!
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Old 07-17-07, 11:32 AM   #4
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Since he has nothing left to prove in terms of KOM, I'm sure there is no question he'll be going all out for yellow -- if he stays within striking distance after the Albi TT.

The more interesting question, I think, is just getting podium -- given the choice between, say, KOM and finishing 6th overall vs. finishing a couple places down in KOM and finishing 2nd or 3rd overall, what would he choose?
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Old 07-17-07, 11:36 AM   #5
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why would he abandon the MJ? he's over 2 minutes up still, finished with or ahead of all the elites despite not exactly responding to accererations well. and besides, it's not menchov is looking good right now. finally, if chicken were to actually win the TdF, it would be in much the same way he's grabbed his KOTM jersies in the past, by attacking early and riding out solo. he already nearly clinched a podium spot with the same tactics with a harder field, and he's not going to be able to sit with the group trying to respond to attacks from the likes of contador.
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Old 07-17-07, 11:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanceMac
Since he has nothing left to prove in terms of KOM, I'm sure there is no question he'll be going all out for yellow -- if he stays within striking distance after the Albi TT.

The more interesting question, I think, is just getting podium -- given the choice between, say, KOM and finishing 6th overall vs. finishing a couple places down in KOM and finishing 2nd or 3rd overall, what would he choose?
But assuming he will lose massive time in both time trials that only leaves Pyrenees for him to earn a cushion for a podium finish. Let's assume that he will remain a marked rider so escaping will be difficult.
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Old 07-17-07, 11:47 AM   #7
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There is a big problem with this as a strategy. Who would do it? If a team of a contender has someone who can force this KOM then you have sent your best climber up the road to help eliminate a minor threat for the GC. If your GC contender has any problems you have shot yourself in the foot. If on the other hand you are are a team who has someone who might be able to snatch the KOM from Rasmussen why would you want to force his hand? If he commits to the KOM your chances are hurt, better to have him thinking of both for as long as possible.

Also the profiles of the stages do not lend themselfs to this. The mountians are in stages 14, 15 and 16. Stage 14 only has 2 climbs of major points, both HC and back to back at the end. With the end at the top of the second HC climb. Playing this as a pure GC contender works just fine, esp with teh double points for the final climb. But if he does go for the first there are no flat catchup miles between the climbs and while risky playing KOM could actually give the best chance for the kind of time Rasmussen needs.

15 and 16 have the pick off the peaks potential, but things will be more set by that point and again 16 has an HC as the final climb. Plenty of points for Rasmussen if he plays it pure GC.
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Old 07-17-07, 11:51 AM   #8
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After his impressive ride today, I hope Soler is able to become the KOM champion.
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Old 07-17-07, 11:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GV27
Well, of course he may well be forced to choose. If he wants to win the overall, he can't go chase down a suicidal all-day break in search of KoM points. There's a reason why although the overall winner is usually one of (if not THE) best climber in the race but nobody has won both in a LONG time (Eddy Merckx, '70, I think?). Even Pantani didn't win KoM in '98 though he was clearly the best climber and I believe Lance probably could've won several if he'd wanted to. So nobody has to sit him down and ask him - the race is gonna ask him!
Yup it was 70 with Eddy. But under the current scorring scheme Pantani would almost surely have won both in 1998. He was only 25 points back (out of a lot more points) and Pantani was there on all the finishing climbs to cat 1 or HC and Rinero was not there on any. And if I recall correctly he did pull it of in the Giro that year.

IF Rasmussen ends in Yellow I think he has a good chance to have KOM too. But that first part is a big if.
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Old 07-17-07, 11:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith99
There is a big problem with this as a strategy. Who would do it? If a team of a contender has someone who can force this KOM then you have sent your best climber up the road to help eliminate a minor threat for the GC. If your GC contender has any problems you have shot yourself in the foot. If on the other hand you are are a team who has someone who might be able to snatch the KOM from Rasmussen why would you want to force his hand? If he commits to the KOM your chances are hurt, better to have him thinking of both for as long as possible.

Also the profiles of the stages do not lend themselfs to this. The mountians are in stages 14, 15 and 16. Stage 14 only has 2 climbs of major points, both HC and back to back at the end. With the end at the top of the second HC climb. Playing this as a pure GC contender works just fine, esp with teh double points for the final climb. But if he does go for the first there are no flat catchup miles between the climbs and while risky playing KOM could actually give the best chance for the kind of time Rasmussen needs.

15 and 16 have the pick off the peaks potential, but things will be more set by that point and again 16 has an HC as the final climb. Plenty of points for Rasmussen if he plays it pure GC.
My contention is this: the quickest way to get Rasmussen out of yellow is to threaten his polka dots. He won't keep the yellow and he won't finish podium and he and his team know this.
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Old 07-17-07, 12:09 PM   #11
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On second thought:

A mild version of this could be effective. Not going for breaks, simply letting your climbers race to grab the points at the intermediate mountian tops. Basically just denying Rasmussen points if he stays in the group (or making him work for them). That would not be as costly for the teams doing it. The hurt would show at the very end of the stage, not as risky as having your climbers where thay can not help your GC guy.
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Old 07-17-07, 12:18 PM   #12
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Guy like Soler could force the Chicken's hand. 6:49 down on GC, he's probably got enough of a leash that he can go ahead on some intermediate climbs. Then Rasmussen and Rabobank would have to decide what they want.
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Old 07-17-07, 01:05 PM   #13
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Rasmussen has already very clearly stated that he's not interested in another KOM, he wants a "podium finish."

I.e., he's already chosen. Any more questions?
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Old 07-17-07, 01:08 PM   #14
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I hope he loses both classifications soon. Those yellow bibs make him look like he's riding for Saunier Duval. And who the heck wants to see that hideous polka-dotted bib, helmet, and bike combo again?

Riders look so much cooler when they pair any leader's jersey with their usual team kits.
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Old 07-17-07, 01:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
Rasmussen has already very clearly stated that he's not interested in another KOM, he wants a "podium finish."

I.e., he's already chosen. Any more questions?
He wasn't thinking clearly when he said this. He will rethink his decision after he drops 5+ minutes in the first time trial.
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Old 07-17-07, 05:52 PM   #16
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He wasn't thinking clearly when he said this. He will rethink his decision after he drops 5+ minutes in the first time trial.
Five minutes would not be a disaster. But given the length and profile of the first TT, I'll bet he loses less than that to the GC favorites.
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Old 07-17-07, 06:47 PM   #17
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My contention is this: the quickest way to get Rasmussen out of yellow is to threaten his polka dots. He won't keep the yellow and he won't finish podium and he and his team know this.
That's an excellent assessment of how to get that yellow jersey off his back. He will start to doubt his own ability to limit any time damages in the ITT and get back to KOM tricks to at least get the polka dots.
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Old 07-17-07, 06:55 PM   #18
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I doubt Rasmussen will go after any dot points until a poor showing in the ITT. If he loses big time then he will go for KOM. He will defend the jersey, or give it away to a non threat until then. Not many riders can have the honor of riding in yellow.

After the first ITT if he loses big time he can try for another solo break for KOM points and time.

Richard

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That's an excellent assessment of how to get that yellow jersey off his back. He will start to doubt his own ability to limit any time damages in the ITT and get back to KOM tricks to at least get the polka dots.
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Old 07-17-07, 07:30 PM   #19
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I don't think rasmussen has bothered with trying to pick up points every day like Auge or Chavanel. He's most likely planning on another 70+ point day. In stage 10, he didn't bother sprinting for extra points. I don't know if that means he was just hanging on...
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Old 07-17-07, 07:32 PM   #20
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He wasn't thinking clearly when he said this. He will rethink his decision after he drops 5+ minutes in the first time trial.
No, he was thinking very clearly, because he was saying before the tour started that he wasn't that interested in a 3rd KOM. And he's well aware of his TT limitations. I presume he believes he can gain time in the Pyrenees and hopes to limit his TT losses.

I'm not convinced he will succeed. But it's very clear that he's made up his mind and is going for GC rather than polka-dots.
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Old 07-17-07, 07:46 PM   #21
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That's an excellent assessment of how to get that yellow jersey off his back. He will start to doubt his own ability to limit any time damages in the ITT and get back to KOM tricks to at least get the polka dots.
Tomorrow's stage has two category 4s and two category 3 climbs. I hope Barloworld makes a serious effort to get Soler those points. Rasmussen is delusional if he thinks he can get on the podium (the negative body-fat has deprived his brain of vital lipids I believe). Eventually common sense and the interests of his sponsors will prevail.
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Old 07-17-07, 09:42 PM   #22
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Tomorrow's stage has two category 4s and two category 3 climbs. I hope Barloworld makes a serious effort to get Soler those points. Rasmussen is delusional if he thinks he can get on the podium (the negative body-fat has deprived his brain of vital lipids I believe). Eventually common sense and the interests of his sponsors will prevail.
if he hadn't crashed about 20 times in the final time trail 2 years ago, he would have been on the podium, and that was with lance racing. do you really think a poium finish would be out of the question THIS year?
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Old 07-17-07, 09:52 PM   #23
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Even without the crashes he would not have made the podium. With Armstrong, Basso, Ullrich, and even Vino out then a podium is possible. A lot of the top 10 riders are not great time trialist themselves, although maybe better then Rasmussen.

Richard

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if he hadn't crashed about 20 times in the final time trail 2 years ago, he would have been on the podium, and that was with lance racing. do you really think a poium finish would be out of the question THIS year?
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Old 07-17-07, 09:55 PM   #24
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if he hadn't crashed about 20 times in the final time trail 2 years ago, he would have been on the podium, and that was with lance racing. do you really think a poium finish would be out of the question THIS year?
It appeared that the other crashes and bike changes were all mental - IMO he was a bit too rattled to have saved his position from someone like big Jan.
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Old 07-17-07, 09:56 PM   #25
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he prolly would have lost it, but let's face it, klodie is the only guy racing this year who's near the calibre of basso, much less ullrich, much less armstrong.
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