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Old 07-11-11, 01:25 PM   #1
GrayJay
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HTC GC hopes?

While HTC has been in the spotlight with Cavindishes sprint wins, both Tony Martin and Peter Velits are hanging tought on the GC just 1 second behind Andy Schlect. Both of these HTC guys are incredible TT riders. Velits was 3rd overall in last years tour of Spain, winning the long TT there (over Canchellara) and climbing at least well enough to stay in 3rd. Martin is arguably an even stronger TT rider.
Anyone have any info or insite as to how well Martin and Velits can be expected to stay with Scheck(s) and Contador on the climbs? Even if they do loose a bit of time in the mountains, both the HTC guys can probably be expected to gain some time back in the TT's. Having TJ on thier team to help support them through the mountains should be to thier advantage too.
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Old 07-11-11, 01:50 PM   #2
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Nobody can be expected to stay with Schleck and Contador if they are on top form, to be honest. The smartest thing they can do is ride their own tempo and hope that those two start playing cat and mouse with each other.

This article explains it well: http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/mart...rance-standing
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Old 07-11-11, 06:12 PM   #3
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This doesn't exactly answer your question but I thought it was awesome to see Velits and Martin redline it to try and take points away from Gilbert yesterday. They weren't successful, but you could tell by the way they finished that they were trying to help Cav. Pretty cool.
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Old 07-12-11, 12:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TommyL View Post
This doesn't exactly answer your question but I thought it was awesome to see Velits and Martin redline it to try and take points away from Gilbert yesterday. They weren't successful, but you could tell by the way they finished that they were trying to help Cav. Pretty cool.
Yes, Velits was just one place behind the pack points winner Gilbert on Sunday and three places behind on Saturdays longer/steeper superBesse finish. He is showing some real strength, confidence and aggression among very select competition on these finishes. Velit's physique certainly looks more like a beanpole climber than a Gilbert type power finisher. I looked back at his 2010 vuelta results and he was then loosing around 1 minute on the long/steep hilltop climb finishes to climbers Naibole and Mosquera. He will need to improve his climbing performance to hang close to the TDF GC climbers but I am encouraged that he is rising to a new level and will be up to it. After his 2010 vuelta breakthrough, I am sure he didnt spend the winter sitting on a beach. Velits GC race strategy may look a lot like Cadels, where they each can afford to loose a bit of time climbing to Contadore and the Schleckts, then pull their time back to the Schleckt in the TT and rely on Contadors existing deficit and knee injury to keep him from catching back up.

I am a bit less encouraged about Martins GC chances. He has had a lot more exposure racing at TDF level and has not shown many indications of being able to stick close to the climbers when the going gets tough.
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Old 07-13-11, 06:38 PM   #5
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Martin is a strong rider, and could likely be a GC hopeful at some point in his career. He climbs well when he needs to, but not consistently

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