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Old 07-18-11, 02:29 PM   #1
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Naive TDF questions...

I have been watching the TDF and haven't spent much time reading BF. Sorry if my questions have already been asked.

1. MONEY - What's the budget for the TDF teams? $20M for G-C? Is there a significant spread? It seems like Garmin-Cervelo is probably spending a lot more than Euskaltel-Euskad!
2. TEAMS - I would think most people who know who are interested in cycling probably know won last year's TDF, but do many know what team won? Or is it the team recognition mostly derived from the individual rider who won? (I still tend to think Astana when I think of Contador.)
3. MOVISTAR - What's the story with the Movistar team? I believe it's funded by Tom Cruise and Jackie Chen - is there some special connection between them or to cycling? (The team doesn't seem to be doing very well!)
4. GEARING - What gears are the sprinters using? 53/11 or bigger chainrings? Are all the top sprinters using similar gears?
5. CADENCE - How many RPM does Cavendish turn when he's sprinting? Is his ability to turn a high cadence or his power that gives him the advantage over other excellent sprinters (like Tyler Farrar yesterday in Stage 15)?
6. CADENCE - What sort of average cadence does the pack have for a mostly flat (?) stage like yesterday?
7. CADENCE - What sort of cadence do most the riders keep when climbing big climbs?
8. COVERAGE - Didn't Bob Roll used to be an announcer during the race, not just pre- and post-race or for special comments? Is he in the dog house or has he become a superstar? (I find him entertaining although I think he smiles too much.)
9. GREEN JERSEY - Is the HTC team focused entirely on winning the green jersey for Mark Cavendish? If so, does the green jersey carry enough "panache" (or "marketing clout" or whatever wording would be better) to make it worth the cost?

Thanks for any answers.
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Old 07-18-11, 03:35 PM   #2
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1. MONEY - What's the budget for the TDF teams? $20M for G-C? Is there a significant spread? It seems like Garmin-Cervelo is probably spending a lot more than Euskaltel-Euskad!
You are right. Some teams have far larger budgets than others. The UCI has minimums required for the different categories of Teams. So a regional team and a continental team will have stipulated minimum budget requirements by required by the UCi to give them a continental license to allow them to participate in particular races. Wikipedia explains in detail.

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2. TEAMS - I would think most people who know who are interested in cycling probably know won last year's TDF, but do many know what team won? Or is it the team recognition mostly derived from the individual rider who won? (I still tend to think Astana when I think of Contador.)
Cycling is an individual sport contrary to what Lance Armstrong has convinced many people it is. The team in cycling is really there for supporting one another like a brotherhood. In 80% of races, its each man for himself. There really isnt anything "team" related other than that you wear the same kit, and that he will be the first to help you when in trouble. Its only in big Tours that there is more of a brotherhood thats seen. In any brotherhood, people fall in certain positions depending at what they are good at. Cyclists even get hired depending on how they fit into a particular brotherhood. Its very easy to see why a lot of people think cycling is a team sport. Awards are given to the teams because the organizers know that without this brotherhood support, it would be very hard to for the winners the various jerseys to finish the Tour.

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4. GEARING - What gears are the sprinters using? 53/11 or bigger chainrings? Are all the top sprinters using similar gears?
Sure. 53/11 is standard. They are not using any 'special' gears.

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5. CADENCE - How many RPM does Cavendish turn when he's sprinting? Is his ability to turn a high cadence or his power that gives him the advantage over other excellent sprinters (like Tyler Farrar yesterday in Stage 15)?
Not that high really, around 90-115. Remember that they are standing, so they really dont wanna be above 115. Also, they need a low enough cadence to really muscle down on. If its too fast, they cannot use the power they have. Its actually that high simply because they are going that fast in a 53/11, not because thats the cadence they prefer.
As for Cav, his power sure, but even above that is timing. Cavendish is actually not that much faster than everyone else in this year's Tour. Dont get me wrong, the boy is fast, just not as fast as the press is making him out to be. If you watch most finishes, the other sprinters are actually turning out FAR greater speed, its just that they are doing it too late. The man really winning the race is Cavis lead out man, because he basically just drops Cavi at the line. The other sprinters are just misjudging the sprint, because they are waiting for Cav to make the jump. But the problem is that Cav can see the line, and the other riders are an extra bike or two back, and causing them to misjudge the line. Basically Cav is getting the best seat in the house for the win. Again, dont get me wrong Cav is doing an amazing sprint.
Cadence has nothing to do with it. They are all using more or less the same cadence.

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6. CADENCE - What sort of average cadence does the pack have for a mostly flat (?) stage like yesterday?
Usually around 80-105. Cadence really isnt something pros think about. Its really whats comfortable, which is usually more or less the same for everybody.

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7. CADENCE - What sort of cadence do most the riders keep when climbing big climbs?.
On a climb its around 60-90. Contrary to what Lance tried to convince people, again, pros just use a gear they are comfortable with. There is ABSOLUTELY NO predetermined science from a coach. The same rider can use a heavy gear in the Alps compared to the Pyrenees, simply because of the gradient, while the actual power output is the same. Its very hard to explain, but if you have riden many mountains, you will understand what I am saying. Contador for example, actually uses on average, a higher cadence than Lance (Lance on occasion used VERY high cadences for the cameras to sell his image and propagande with Chris Carmichael and he lost a lot of time, the monkey. View the TT was crushed and claimed he lost 6KG of fluid). However, when he attacked Schleck last year during the chain drop, you will notice Contador in a MASSIVE gear. This is simply because Contador felt comfortable and powerful in that gear.

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8. COVERAGE - Didn't Bob Roll used to be an announcer during the race, not just pre- and post-race or for special comments? Is he in the dog house or has he become a superstar? (I find him entertaining although I think he smiles too much.)
Bob IS entertaining, and a great guy. 3 commentators though is a little hard to work with. Phil and Paul have a dance they are comfortable with, and adding a clown to the mix just made more work for everybody. Although Bob is a seasoned and experienced X-pro, he is still American, so in my opinion, and obviously in the opinion of the networks, just doesnt capture cycling the way it should be. I also think that Bob kinda ruined the commentary by trying to explain too much for the less experienced American audience when it comes to cycling. This made it more of a "how to" commentary than actual commentary on the race itself. Lastly I think he over promoted Lance, with no acknowledgment of anyone else; and Im glad he is out of the both.
Then again, it simply could be that just he didnt want to do it. Or, the network didnt want to pay for it, might be as simple as that. I dont know the reason.

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9. GREEN JERSEY - Is the HTC team focused entirely on winning the green jersey for Mark Cavendish? If so, does the green jersey carry enough "panache" (or "marketing clout" or whatever wording would be better) to make it worth the cost?
Most definitely on all counts.
Cavi obviously doesnt deserve it though. He has never done anything to actually earn it. He is doing a typical Lance move, by not attacking, and just having his team deliver him to the line with ABSOLUTELY NO work on his part other than the glory sprint to the line.
Moreover though, he would have been eliminated by now if he hadn't had cheated and hung onto team cars in the mountain.
I had real respect for him as a sprinter, but this ambition for a green jersey disgusts me. He really does it dishonor by the way he is winning it. What a loser.

Now I know there are things people will disagree with, which is fine, I just hope its founded on something other than Lance Armstrong propagana and "Lance-facts"
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Old 07-18-11, 03:47 PM   #3
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Most definitely on all counts.
Cavi obviously doesnt deserve it though. He has never done anything to actually earn it. He is doing a typical Lance move, by not attacking, and just having his team deliver him to the line with ABSOLUTELY NO work on his part other than the glory sprint to the line.
Moreover though, he would have been eliminated by now if he hadn't had cheated and hung onto team cars in the mountain.
I had real respect for him as a sprinter, but this ambition for a green jersey disgusts me. He really does it dishonor by the way he is winning it. What a loser.

Now I know there are things people will disagree with, which is fine, I just hope its founded on something other than Lance Armstrong propagana and "Lance-facts"
Huh? This is flat out dumb. Cavandish is doing his job, plain and simple. It is Pate's job to set countless miles of tempo, Renshaw's job to sping to 200m and Cav to finish. That's just how it goes. That is sprinting. Cav is a loser for hunting the jersey? I think HTC and Cav have been simply amazing. Every other sprinters team has dumped the responsability on HTC and let them chase for 150k then lined up on Cav's wheel and waited for it. At that time HTC has still pulled off the win 4 times already.
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Old 07-18-11, 04:19 PM   #4
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Movistar is the brand name of the Spanish mobile phone company. Team used to be sponsored by Caisse d'Epargne .

I don't think Tom Cruise or Jackie Chan has anything to do with it.
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Old 07-18-11, 04:20 PM   #5
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Huh? This is flat out dumb. Cavandish is doing his job, plain and simple. It is Pate's job to set countless miles of tempo, Renshaw's job to sping to 200m and Cav to finish. That's just how it goes. That is sprinting. Cav is a loser for hunting the jersey? I think HTC and Cav have been simply amazing. Every other sprinters team has dumped the responsability on HTC and let them chase for 150k then lined up on Cav's wheel and waited for it. At that time HTC has still pulled off the win 4 times already.
Cav is a great sprinter. He gives credit to his teammates. Occasionally he is disrespectful to his competition. He is not careful in picking his words and very often compliments his teammates in a way that can at least be taken as insulting his competition (honestly I thnik with no such slight intended).

In a way I find myself in a similar sitution as with Lance. I really really dislike fsome of his fanboys. I take exception to over broad statements about his accomplishments. (On htis board there was a thread a few days saying he was the greatest stage winner ever when he had not yet even won hte most stages for a sprinter).

But I try to make sure my dislike of his fans does not color my opinion of him. I'll let his actions determine that. And the odds seem good he will end his career with the most total stage wins in Grand Tours.
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Old 07-18-11, 04:24 PM   #6
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Oh and Cycling is a team sport. Just not in the way it was with Lance where the whole team sacrificed only for him. The way things play out depending on just who is in a break or just who stands a chance of a win if things come back makes that clear. But a very different team sport as the actual award winners are almost always individuals.
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Old 07-18-11, 04:43 PM   #7
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Huh? This is flat out dumb. Cavandish is doing his job, plain and simple. It is Pate's job to set countless miles of tempo, Renshaw's job to sping to 200m and Cav to finish. That's just how it goes. That is sprinting. Cav is a loser for hunting the jersey? I think HTC and Cav have been simply amazing. Every other sprinters team has dumped the responsability on HTC and let them chase for 150k then lined up on Cav's wheel and waited for it. At that time HTC has still pulled off the win 4 times already.
Do you know what the green jersey is? And what they introduced it for?
You have some learning to do.

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Oh and Cycling is a team sport. Just not in the way it was with Lance where the whole team sacrificed only for him. The way things play out depending on just who is in a break or just who stands a chance of a win if things come back makes that clear. But a very different team sport as the actual award winners are almost always individuals.
90% of cycling races are not the Tour. Almost all races in cycling are about each person just trying to get to the finish. There is nothing team based about it.
You have much learning of cycling to do.
You seem to think that cycling is the only cycling race on the calendar.
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Old 07-18-11, 04:46 PM   #8
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Cycling is a team sport, but there is a "first among equals/captain" around whom the team revolves. The team, usually is built to support a GC contender.

If built ideally, the team should have a GC contender, some two or three decent climbers, a good time-trialist, a sprinter and some domestiques.

Of course, most cycling races are not grand tours, so the classics are just every man for himself, for the most part.
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Old 07-18-11, 04:51 PM   #9
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Oh, another thing I forgot is that you can also build a team around guys who can neutralise/destroy your GC guy's main rivals.
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Old 07-18-11, 04:55 PM   #10
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This thread has huge potential. In so many respects.
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Old 07-18-11, 04:58 PM   #11
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Movistar is the brand name of the Spanish mobile phone company. Team used to be sponsored by Caisse d'Epargne .

I don't think Tom Cruise or Jackie Chan has anything to do with it.

not pronounced like movie. think of it as a spanish speaker- M-oh-w-vee
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Old 07-18-11, 05:29 PM   #12
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Cycling is a team sport, but there is a "first among equals/captain" around whom the team revolves. The team, usually is built to support a GC contender.

If built ideally, the team should have a GC contender, some two or three decent climbers, a good time-trialist, a sprinter and some domestiques.

Of course, most cycling races are not grand tours, so the classics are just every man for himself, for the most part.
Just not this year? Or has everyone forgotten that at least twice Fabian Canceleria was neutralized because he was marked? Sit on his wheel so if he chases the break he will bring a rider almost as strong as himslef up to the break, but a ridfer who is fresh.

If it were every man for himself the marking riders would ahve tried working with him a little, if they did not they had no chance. But a teammate would have a very good chance.

Again there is teamwork and team tactics other than ride in front and help a single designated rider.
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Old 07-18-11, 05:42 PM   #13
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The OP is advised to ignore 90% of what Howitz posted.
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Old 07-18-11, 06:38 PM   #14
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The OP is advised to ignore 90% of what Howitz posted.
The OP should observe that pro cycling is not comprised of 1 race called the Tour de France. Pro cycling encompasses the calendar months of Feb through October, in which there are hundreds of races.
In those races, a rider has to try and win, and if he is not trying to win, he is trying to survive. There is no such thing as a "lead out train" in Paris-Roubaix. Just the thought makes me laugh. Zing.
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Old 07-18-11, 07:04 PM   #15
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The OP should observe that pro cycling is not comprised of 1 race called the Tour de France. Pro cycling encompasses the calendar months of Feb through October, in which there are hundreds of races.
In those races, a rider has to try and win, and if he is not trying to win, he is trying to survive. There is no such thing as a "lead out train" in Paris-Roubaix. Just the thought makes me laugh. Zing.
OP didn't ask about cycling. He asked about the TDF.
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Old 07-18-11, 09:29 PM   #16
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OP here - Thanks for the direct answers to my Q's, Howzit. And thank you all for an entertaining thread of responses.
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Old 07-18-11, 10:11 PM   #17
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Cycling is a team sport primarly because riding in a group and being protected by others consumes so much less energy than riding on your own that teams make sense. This is why the individual time trial is called the race of truth. There is no peleton to hide in. Teams are used because its easier for sponsors and managers to have an internchangeable roster of riders so they can allow for different terrain, injuries and race types.

WRT the Cavendish issue: I think he deserves what he gets but it is true that he is doing a very special kind of ride which only occurs in the last 500m of a race. The rest of the time, he's invisible. Same goes for pretty much all specialist sprinters. What makes for an interesting side note is how much the sprinters struggle (except Thor & Phil Gil) to get over the mountains. Cav is particularly bad at this and only made the time cut-off at the last Pyrenees stage by a minute reportedly. Bernie Eisel gets him there but I suspect HTC are probably quite worried that he'll make the cut-offs through the Alpine stages. Can't collect the green jersey in Paris if you don't make the cut-offs.
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Old 07-19-11, 06:25 AM   #18
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Cycling is a team sport primarly because riding in a group and being protected by others consumes so much less energy than riding on your own that teams make sense. This is why the individual time trial is called the race of truth. There is no peleton to hide in. Teams are used because its easier for sponsors and managers to have an internchangeable roster of riders so they can allow for different terrain, injuries and race types.

WRT the Cavendish issue: I think he deserves what he gets but it is true that he is doing a very special kind of ride which only occurs in the last 500m of a race. The rest of the time, he's invisible. Same goes for pretty much all specialist sprinters. What makes for an interesting side note is how much the sprinters struggle (except Thor & Phil Gil) to get over the mountains. Cav is particularly bad at this and only made the time cut-off at the last Pyrenees stage by a minute reportedly. Bernie Eisel gets him there but I suspect HTC are probably quite worried that he'll make the cut-offs through the Alpine stages. Can't collect the green jersey in Paris if you don't make the cut-offs.
Has that ever happened before? A jersey rider in the middle of the race failed to make the cut-offs not because of accident or injury?
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Old 07-19-11, 12:37 PM   #19
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Has that ever happened before? A jersey rider in the middle of the race failed to make the cut-offs not because of accident or injury?
I'm sure it has. Djamolidine Abdoujaparov was injured in final sprint in Paris one year and had to limp across the line. He was close enough that the 1 Km rule came into account so he had no time worries. He was badly enough injured that it was entirely possible he would no tbe able to limp those last 100-200 meters.

I'm sure there are failures on time that get burried, if a rider is well off the back and outside of the time he is apt to abandon, esp if he is off early in a mountian stage.

Oops I missed the 'NOT'.

Still until fairly recently Green Jersey leaders woudl routinely drop out when the mountians came. I think the TDF organizers deserve soem credit for that trend changing. They have made winninghte final stage in Paris into a prize sought by sprinters. sought enough that they will drag themfelfs over 4 mountian stages just for a chance at that prize (and nothign else).

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Old 07-19-11, 12:52 PM   #20
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I'm sure it has. Djamolidine Abdoujaparov was injured in final sprint in Paris one year and had to limp across the line. He was close enough that the 1 Km rule came into account so he had no time worries. He was badly enough injured that it was entirely possible he would no tbe able to limp those last 100-200 meters.
Does he have to drag a mangled bike frame for that final limp home?
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Old 07-19-11, 01:03 PM   #21
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Does he have to drag a mangled bike frame for that final limp home?
I'm pretty sure he carried his bike across the line.

He is one rider who does not think more police and barriers will fix everything.
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Old 07-19-11, 01:07 PM   #22
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OP, Howzit has a point when he says that team tactics are less important in one-day races than in the TdF. But he's wrong to suggest that it is only in the TdF that cycling is a team sport. In any multi-day stage race of any importance the big teams will pick a squad to help their leader. So we saw Boasson Hagen and others working for Wiggins in the Dauphine, for example, and HTC working for Tony Martin in Paris-Nice.

As for Cavendish, he arouses strong feelings in some people for some reason. As jrennie has said above, Cavendish is doing his job. He's very good at it. It would be stupid for him to do as some would like, and waste his energy by making attacks or going faster than necessary in the mountains. He does what is necessary to conserve himself for the sprints. Interestingly, today he finished pretty high up (despite his supposed inability to climb) because until quite late in the stage there was a danger that Gilbert or Rojas might have gained significant points, and he needed to be in a position to respond.
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Old 07-19-11, 01:20 PM   #23
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OP didn't ask about cycling. He asked about the TDF.
True.

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Cycling is a team sport primarly because riding in a group and being protected by others consumes so much less energy than riding on your own that teams make sense.
Incorrect, shelter from any rider is the same regardless of team kit color. Wind does not segregate so that you are only sheltered just because its a team mate sheltering you. You do not need a team to reep the benefits of rider/wind protection. Its only easier in the sense that there is less jostling around for position if you are following a row of team mates. So no; cycling is not primarily a team sport because you can get shelter from the wind from a team mate.

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Originally Posted by 900aero View Post
This is why the individual time trial is called the race of truth. There is no peleton to hide in.
Correct, and this contradicts your statement of why you think cycling is a team sport from your first sentence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 900aero View Post
Teams are used because its easier for sponsors and managers to have an internchangeable roster of riders so they can allow for different terrain, injuries and race types.
Exactly right. And this is the reasons teams exist, not because cycling is a team sport, now you are thinking. Think "squad" and not "team."

Quote:
Originally Posted by 900aero View Post
WRT the Cavendish issue: I think he deserves what he gets but it is true that he is doing a very special kind of ride which only occurs in the last 500m of a race. The rest of the time, he's invisible.
Correct, and hence the disgust in his quest for the green jersey, thats not giving it honor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 900aero View Post
Cav is particularly bad at this (getting over mountains) and only made the time cut-off at the last Pyrenees stage by a minute reportedly.
And hence this is indicative that he held onto the team car.
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