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Old 07-18-07, 08:09 AM   #1
damage24
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Dumb Questions

This is my first year really following the tour and watching yesterday's stage, there was something I didn't quite get. Toward the end when the two Disco guys were still 2-3 and Leipheimer was in the second pack, the announcers said something to the effect of "Levi doesn't care, he has two teammates out front, he can just take it easy" and I'm trying to figure out why that mattered. He's going for the overall win, right? So what does it matter to him if he has two guys from his team ahead of him? I understand that he wants to at least stay with Rasmussen but what does having teammates out front have to do with anything?
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Old 07-18-07, 08:18 AM   #2
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It's a team sport. Contador in particular is highly placed on GC. If Contador is up the road gaining time, its good for the Team. (and puts pressure on other teams).

The onus is then on other teams to chase, and Levi get's a free ride up with the chasers, while he is excused from working (because you don't attack teammates).
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Old 07-18-07, 08:21 AM   #3
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Did anyone notice Frank Schelk(sp) pulling the Vino group? I was a little suprised by that.

Richard
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Old 07-18-07, 09:52 AM   #4
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This is my first year really following the tour and watching yesterday's stage, there was something I didn't quite get. Toward the end when the two Disco guys were still 2-3 and Leipheimer was in the second pack, the announcers said something to the effect of "Levi doesn't care, he has two teammates out front, he can just take it easy" and I'm trying to figure out why that mattered. He's going for the overall win, right? So what does it matter to him if he has two guys from his team ahead of him? I understand that he wants to at least stay with Rasmussen but what does having teammates out front have to do with anything?
Just one more example of the poor commentary. He would care. But he would rather have others do the work than do it himself. Normally if you do that riders will get upset with you and that can have repercussions later. But if you have teammates up the road and in that case teammates who have a chance for the stage win then you are not expected to chase as it will hurt their chances, so other riders do not expect you to chase.

However in this case I have to wonder. Levi was in the second of 2 packs. Once there was a split both packs were working very hard. The front one to stay away, the second to catch. I think his 2 teammates had a better chance if the packs rejoined as they may have then not worked as hard.

In hindsight the real answer is probably that Levi jut did not have much left on the day. He was not fighting for seconds at the end when others were.
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Old 07-18-07, 10:25 AM   #5
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That makes a little more sense. Thanks.
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Old 07-18-07, 10:30 AM   #6
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even though i highly doubt levi is their GC man, if he was, then having contador gain time helps him immensely. having 2 guys on 1 team means that you can later have 1 of them go on a breakaway, which the other teams will HAVE to chase down, and give your other guy a free tow.

now if your actual GC man is losing time to a breakway, even if it has team members, he's going to have to try and catch up if there are rivals in it.

that's why it's ludicrous to believe that LL is disco's actual leader. you'd think if their actual leader was losing time that bruyneel would send popo back to pace him or at very least have conator and popo sit on the first chase group; instead he has contador and popo try to breakaway to gain time on the field while levi loses valuable minutes.
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Old 07-18-07, 10:49 AM   #7
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that's why it's ludicrous to believe that LL is disco's actual leader. you'd think if their actual leader was losing time that bruyneel would send popo back to pace him or at very least have conator and popo sit on the first chase group; instead he has contador and popo try to breakaway to gain time on the field while levi loses valuable minutes.
Um, no. I think yesterday worked out almost exactly as Bruyneel wanted it to. DSC now has 2 guys in the top ten. Popovych worked his butt off and was exhausted because Popo was working for Contador and Levi. Contador may be ahead of Levi in the GC currently, but there are 2 TT's coming up and that's not Contador's strong suit. Levi may not gain time in the TT's but usually he can hold his own. Unless Contador can go on an attack and build a huge lead in any of the upcoming climbing stages, Levi will be the best shot at a win for Discovery. And let's face it, with Rasmussen 2:35 ahead, it's going to be hard to for any climber to build an advantage on him.

If it comes down to it, and it probably will, Contador will pull Levi through the mountains. I think Brunyell is hoping that the climbers in the top ten will fade in the TT's and Levi will be able to move up in the GC. Then it's just a matter of gaining time on the non-climbers in the GC.
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Old 07-18-07, 11:08 AM   #8
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you have no idea what you're talking about. contador is not horribel time trialist. levi's been losing time in the alps this year, has proven himself time and agains to be a mediocre time trialist (as well as meh cimber), and somehow he's going to magically not only not lose more time in the ITT's, but contador is going to somehow pull him to victory up the pyrenees?! if that was true why didn't JB have armstrong tow hincapie up the hardest climbs? that would make about the same amount of sense.
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Old 07-18-07, 11:33 AM   #9
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you have no idea what you're talking about. contador is not horribel time trialist.
He's not going to have the results you think he will in a longer time trial. Contador is way too spindaly and skinny to be a good time trialist. Do you really think Contador is a better time trialist than Levi? How so? Give me some evidence or stats. Contador has 45 seconds on Levi, that gap will evaporate in the ITT's.

Levi's been losing time in the Alps? So that's why he's moved up the GC? Really? Interesting logic.

Yes, Contador is there to help out Levi. It's not the other way around. George Hincapie was to Lance as Contador is to Levi. George is a work horse, Contador will be a work horse when there is climbing. Contador will have his time in the sun, just not this year. He's way too young and inexperienced. This year he will help out Levi as much as he can. Would Brunyell put his hopes on such a young rider with so little experience in the TDF? Unless Levi implodes, all of Discovery will work to get him as far up the podium as possible.
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Old 07-18-07, 11:47 AM   #10
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Well, the most direct evidence of their respective TT abilities is that Contador was 5 seconds faster in the prolgue than Leipheimer. Not a significant difference. The short prologue admittedly doesn't say a lot about a longer TT.

Last year's Tour de Romandie Contador road a respectible TT, but conceded 45 seconds to Cadel Evan. over a distance around 20 some kilometers.

My guess is there's not a huge difference between Contador and Leipheimer time trialing.

The bigger question regarding Contador is whether he can finish the 3 weeks without a bad day.

Leipheimer has prooven he knows how to manage a 3 week TDF. I think that's why Bruyneel continues to not put his all his eggs in the Contador basket.
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Old 07-18-07, 12:25 PM   #11
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He's not going to have the results you think he will in a longer time trial. Contador is way too spindaly and skinny to be a good time trialist. Do you really think Contador is a better time trialist than Levi? How so? Give me some evidence or stats. Contador has 45 seconds on Levi, that gap will evaporate in the ITT's.

Levi's been losing time in the Alps? So that's why he's moved up the GC? Really? Interesting logic.

.
first off, read the post below yours, then think about the difference in pure climbing ability between the two.

and yes levi's been losing time in the alps. he's moved up in the GC against who? cancellara? hushovd? he hasn't even been in a first chase group.
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Old 07-18-07, 12:34 PM   #12
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I can't say this enough. Levi is the GC man until he screws the pooch. JB is not hiding anything. He is not secretly plotting to have Contador as his lead guy. Contador is already marked, and will not be allowed in a breakaway.

I am sure JB is pleased that Contador is riding well, and so highly placed. It gives him a lot of options. He is not placing all of his faith in an unknown commodity. He may next year if Contador finishes well.

Richard

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first off, read the post below yours, then think about the difference in pure climbing ability between the two.

and yes levi's been losing time in the alps. he's moved up in the GC against who? cancellara? hushovd? he hasn't even been in a first chase group.
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Old 07-18-07, 01:36 PM   #13
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I can't say this enough. Levi is the GC man until he screws the pooch. JB is not hiding anything. He is not secretly plotting to have Contador as his lead guy. Contador is already marked, and will not be allowed in a breakaway.

I am sure JB is pleased that Contador is riding well, and so highly placed. It gives him a lot of options. He is not placing all of his faith in an unknown commodity. He may next year if Contador finishes well.

Richard
You are a wise man. I think that's what I was trying to get at. Don't get me wrong, I like Contador. I just don't think he'll be the man this year for Discovery. Maybe in a year or two depending on how he finishes. People may not like Levi, but he's the best shot for Discovery, by far. I think they will use Contador as much as they can to push Levi forward. Whether one is a better TT'er than the other, I guess it is hard to say because there isn't a lot of info on Contador's ITT ability. We know Levi can have his ups and downs at TT's, so Discovery is hoping for ups instead of downs on his TT's. Popovych is over 8 minutes back, and Gusev is 12 minutes back. I think it's obvious that Levi is it for Discovery.
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Old 07-19-07, 08:28 AM   #14
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I just don't get where this stuff about Levi not being the team's leader comes from. Perhaps from the strategy that Disco used to use with Lance? Where everyone just pulled for Lance and nothing else? In fact the strategy they're using this year is exactly what other teams tried to do to break Lance: leave their leader to mark him while launching multiple attacks to make his team chase and expend energy. Assuming that is Disco's strategy, it's working PERFECTLY and they're looking extremely strong. And the farther Contador gets ahead of Levi the better at this point. Levi's expended a minimal amount of energy so far and if Contador gets some time on him then it just confuses other teams.

At some point they'll have to decide: do we want to keep marking Levi or chase Contador. If they just mark Levi, perhaps Contador ends up winning the tour. If they chase him then the burn energy and Levi just follows and wins the tour. It's a lot like Saeco did with Cunego and Simoni. Sent the young buck attacking up the road constantly. Simoni was certainly the designated leader but everyone else just threw away the Giro that year by focusing on that fact. In that case everyone else just marked Simoni and Cunego won the thing. If they'd chased him, Simoni surely would've.

I think the Tour so far may be an indication that the doping controls are finally starting to work. Nobody can just dominate day after day. People have to pick their spots and conserve energy for the final week.

Last edited by GV27; 07-19-07 at 08:35 AM.
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