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  1. #1
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    Is Team Radio Shack's strategy flawed?

    I mean, Johann announced he's going in with four GC's and going for the podium. I'm not sure they can take the podium. At first I thought he was a genius, now I'm wondering if he's nuts. Granted I think he would have taken all four of these guys anyways, but to openly have them duke it out? Am I missing something?

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    Going for the podium - I presume this means he wants one of the four on the podium as opposed to sweeping the entire podium (which could have happened in the AC/LA year).

    I don't think the strategy is flawed - I think he's got four top 10 possibles and he'll ride each day with an open mind and see who has the legs. Why state now that you are going with "Levi, or Andreas, or Chris ..."

    Just as easy for one of the others to have great legs and surprise you. Even more likely that whomever you annoint gets the flu and stinks up the first two weeks.

    So why alienate three guys with the only upside being you've given one an "atta boy".

    Good strategy. In fact - proven. If I recall the last time he did this he had two spots on the podium and managed to get it done with two MAJOR PRIMADONNA personas. These four are all near or slightly-past prime ... no one is going to look at Johann and say they're upset because no one will be ....

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    I don't think the strategy is flawed - I think he's got four top 10 possibles and he'll ride each day with an open mind and see who has the legs. Why state now that you are going with "Levi, or Andreas, or Chris ..."
    +1

    Just sounds like he is keeping his options open to me.

  4. #4
    Upgrading my engine DXchulo's Avatar
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    I don't think the strategy is flawed, either. I think he's blowing smoke when he says 4 guys could do it. We know it will likely come down to just Leipheimer and Horner. I know lots of people pull for Kloden, but I just don't see it.

    Saxo Bank and Leopard have to do all the work, so it shouldn't take a ton of effort to keep both guys out of trouble. Then it just comes down to who has the legs in the mountains. Even if they decided to sacrifice Leipheimer for Horner, what good would it really do? Neither one is much of an attacker and either Leopard or Saxo Bank would probably be setting a fast tempo already, anyway. They're better off following wheels and hoping Schleck crashes or drops his chain and Alberto gets DQed later on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by luxroadie View Post
    These four are all near or slightly-past prime ... no one is going to look at Johann and say they're upset because no one will be ....
    Brajkovic is not is the same category with the other three age wise

    Quote Originally Posted by luxroadie View Post
    If I recall the last time he did this he had two spots on the podium and managed to get it done with two MAJOR PRIMADONNA personas
    I would argue the LA was the only "primadonna" given what actually transpired.

    As far as strategy goes, I don't think any of it will even matter. Contador (and likely Schleck) can't be attacked on the climbs like the "average" GC contender. It's playing right into their strength and usually ends poorly for the would be attacker(s). Also count on AC/AS (or their respective teams) to be setting such a pace on the pivotal climbs that attacking will be next to impossible. They will make sure that they force the others to ride at or very close to their limit, leaving them unable to mount a respectable attack.
    Last edited by Romans8:28; 06-22-11 at 10:23 AM.

  6. #6
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    Brajkovic was to be THE gc rider but he hasn't impressed in the warmups to the Tour. Perhaps Johann is putting a bit of fire under Jani's feet; if he does well early in the mountains, the team will work for him. JB is the future of Team RadioShack. It's do or die for the elder three.

    I'd be sending at least two of the four on a breakaway the first day in the mountains; the other two on the next day if the breakaway failed. I would not simply sit on Contador's wheel all day, every day.

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    Unless I missed something, it's Leipheimer who said "let the legs decide," not JB. (http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/...-france_179715)

    Basically, as long as the riders are genuinely willing to ride for whoever is strongest, and since none of them are going to be marked nearly as heavily as some of the other riders, it's not a bad plan.

    Plus, it's not like they have much to lose. It's pretty obvious that, barring a major accident or other problem, the #1 and #2 spots on the podium are taken.

    Oh, and I almost forgot.... These guys seem to lie to the press about their strategy rather frequently. I'd take all such comments with a big grain of salt.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Nick Bain's Avatar
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    as a personal friend of yohan I can say that his strategy is a strategy and nothing more.












    lol

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    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
    Brajkovic was to be THE gc rider but he hasn't impressed in the warmups to the Tour. Perhaps Johann is putting a bit of fire under Jani's feet; if he does well early in the mountains, the team will work for him. JB is the future of Team RadioShack. It's do or die for the elder three.

    I'd be sending at least two of the four on a breakaway the first day in the mountains; the other two on the next day if the breakaway failed. I would not simply sit on Contador's wheel all day, every day.
    Nope. 2 of the 4 in a break means it is too strong and will get chased down, quickly and with other teams cooperating. Try to get one on a break. Make sure all the rest are in any chase group (but likely not working). If the break gets caught send someone else.

    Oh and start it early, not the last or even next to last climb of the day. The idea is to get force the other teams to work and get it to the point where AC and AS have to work to pull a break back, not just having their teams work. First day of it is very unlikely to yeild a result at the line (best case is AC and AS actually work a bit). The idea is day 2 or 3 of it the workers of other teams have burnt out and you have a couple of reasonably fresh riders. Then when one gets into an early break the other teams have to guess, is it one of the fresh ones or is it a tired rider out to force a chase?

    I really hope this is pretty close to the plan. It might work, it might fail, but if it is tried it will break the race to pieces and we won't have a race of conserving seconds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
    Brajkovic was to be THE gc rider but he hasn't impressed in the warmups to the Tour. Perhaps Johann is putting a bit of fire under Jani's feet; if he does well early in the mountains, the team will work for him. JB is the future of Team RadioShack. It's do or die for the elder three.

    I'd be sending at least two of the four on a breakaway the first day in the mountains; the other two on the next day if the breakaway failed. I would not simply sit on Contador's wheel all day, every day.
    I too was thinking Brajkovic would be the choice but can he ride a 3 week Grand tour at top form? I know the geritol gang can but just cant see any of them on the podium.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    Nope. 2 of the 4 in a break means it is too strong and will get chased down, quickly and with other teams cooperating. Try to get one on a break. Make sure all the rest are in any chase group (but likely not working). If the break gets caught send someone else.

    Oh and start it early, not the last or even next to last climb of the day. The idea is to get force the other teams to work and get it to the point where AC and AS have to work to pull a break back, not just having their teams work. First day of it is very unlikely to yeild a result at the line (best case is AC and AS actually work a bit). The idea is day 2 or 3 of it the workers of other teams have burnt out and you have a couple of reasonably fresh riders. Then when one gets into an early break the other teams have to guess, is it one of the fresh ones or is it a tired rider out to force a chase?

    I really hope this is pretty close to the plan. It might work, it might fail, but if it is tried it will break the race to pieces and we won't have a race of conserving seconds.
    I long for the day when a DS animates a race like this ... maybe this is the year. Fireworks from the actual start onward. No waiting til the foot of the last climb.

    Cycling is getting to be like basketball - turn up in the last ten minutes and that's all the action ...

  12. #12
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luxroadie View Post
    Cycling is getting to be like basketball - turn up in the last ten minutes and that's all the action ...
    And it doesn't help that Versus doesn't show the start of the breakaways, so you can see what happened. It's always "We join the race with 20km to go, four riders in a breakaway, lead now down to 2:05..."
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Cycling is a sport of endurance and attrition, especially with a grand tour.

    It's also a team sport. Any rider with a remote chance at a podium spot in the break on a hilly stage is going to need teammates in the break, otherwise he'll be dealing with a bunch of guys who have no incentives to help and plenty of reasons to impede him, and the odds of any of the 4 strongest RS guys + a domestique getting away in the break are pretty much zilch.

    Even if they could get away and stay away for 3 minutes consistently (and assuming Contador and Schleck don't breeze right past them on the way up), almost anyone would be a mess the next day and get spit out the back.

    You might make the sport a little more predictable if you eliminated race radio or restricted it to safety info and time splits for TT's. But even in that case, chances are if a GC threat and a teammate got into the break, it'd still get shut down, the rider would still risk blowing up that day or the next day, etc...

    "I love pro cycling, but I wish it was a completely different sport."

    If you want all-day excitement, you'll have to check out more single-day races.


    As to Versus, they already show the TdF twice a day iirc, and have to cut the duration down to a manageable size. It's not popular enough to justify doubling the amount of TV time they can dedicate to it.

  14. #14
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    Versus shows most of the big mountain stages, sometimes the show runs four hours long. A danger of recording the Versus live show is that they'll run over the time limit with the riders about a km from the finish line. Or a monster truck rally will cut in during the last hour. I recorded as much hockey as cycling during the Spring on Versus.

    Earlier, I meant to have two RS riders attempt the breakaway each day. If one got reeled in, the other would take off. Repeat until successful or the peloton sets new speed records. At least it would be more exciting.


    Saxo Bank seemingly paid half the Giro's teams to work for them. I was so surprised to see other teams setting the pace while Contador was in pink. If they were launching a rider I'd understand but they just seemed to be dragging Alberto along.

    It was a cool move of Garmin-Cervelo to break the peloton when they got the wind shift. Wiggins and Evans had to pull very hard to get back up. Astana did the same thing in 2007 at the TdF; caught Moreau out and he lost a lot of time.

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    I speculate that when he DOES have a go-to guy, he still won't tell US. You don't announce an on-side kick.

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    I agree with those that said Johan's actual strategy has not been made public. Sure, he has 4 guys that can ride well, that are genuine top-10 GC hopefuls, and he will play that up in the media. He has a bit of experience directing winners in the TdF, and he knows which of his guys has the best shot. That guy will get the support, regardless of what he says in the weeks and days leading up to the start.

    Anyway, the winner won't be in black and red, unless AC or AS commit a fashion faux pas. AS will pin his hopes on a mountain attack, while AC will be content to ride an arm's length from AS in the mountains, and take time from him in the TT's (which everyone knows he can do with ease). Replay of last year, minus the chain drop. Barring illness or injury, we"ll see the same top two on the podium as last year, and in the same order. 3rd place is...3rd place. AC and AS surely don't care who takes it. Maybe Leipheimer, or Evans. Who knows? Who cares?

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    I wonder if he'll send out a few for bait over the first weeks in the hopes of wearing out AC and AS, and then hope to put Horner in a position to get lucky during the climbs. Add a few TTT seconds, and you might get your Hail Mary.

    I dunno.

  18. #18
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    RadioShack is at a turning point. Without Lance they are no longer a grand tour contender. They never were a classics contender. They never were a points or climbing contender. Right now their forte seems to be minor week-long tours like California, Switzerland, and Poland, races where a good number of the top riders can be depended on to be somewhere else.

    They are a team of rookies supporting Lance's old teammates, who are all close to retirement. Bruyneel needs to decide whether to go into a development phase or settle back into being just the best US team (except for Garmin-Cervelo and HTC Highroad). I think their TTT indicates a development phase. They're riding like Garmin was a few years ago, not winning but placing well and impressing with their discipline and unity. Then the trick will be to hold onto the youngsters long enough for them to bear fruit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
    RadioShack is at a turning point. Without Lance they are no longer a grand tour contender. They never were a classics contender. They never were a points or climbing contender. Right now their forte seems to be minor week-long tours like California, Switzerland, and Poland, races where a good number of the top riders can be depended on to be somewhere else.

    They are a team of rookies supporting Lance's old teammates, who are all close to retirement. Bruyneel needs to decide whether to go into a development phase or settle back into being just the best US team (except for Garmin-Cervelo and HTC Highroad). I think their TTT indicates a development phase. They're riding like Garmin was a few years ago, not winning but placing well and impressing with their discipline and unity. Then the trick will be to hold onto the youngsters long enough for them to bear fruit.

    Was Radioshack a Grand Tour contender with Lance? I know they won the team points but they werent close to the podium.

  20. #20
    Resident PIA Shadco's Avatar
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    yes flawed they didn't enter in the senior division
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  21. #21
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    is there such a thing as a perfect strategy?
    if not, then they are all flawed. JB went into
    the 2009 TFD with multiple leaders, and two
    managed to podium. and then there was Kloden

  22. #22
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dahoss2002 View Post
    Was Radioshack a Grand Tour contender with Lance? I know they won the team points but they werent close to the podium.
    Well, they started 2010 planning to be a grand tour contender. I briefly forgot they were Astana in 2009.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    He's got four guys, none of whom will make the podium so he's keeping his options open.

  24. #24
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dubbayoo View Post
    He's got four guys, none of whom will make the podium so he's keeping his options open.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
    Well, they started 2010 planning to be a grand tour contender. I briefly forgot they were Astana in 2009.
    I knew what u meant man. If Brajkovic dont pan out, Johan will find another rider to develop. I dont think he is ready to get out of the game yet.

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