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Old 07-28-12, 03:21 PM   #1
prototoast
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Should Cav have thrown a few stages in the TdF?

It seems that after two dominating sprints at the end of the Tour de France, every other team was 100% convinced that if the Olympic road race came down to a sprint, Cav would win it. Thus, even the teams with sprinters (Australian, Germany, US, Belgium) were no longer willing to work to bring it to a sprint, and Great Britain simply didn't have the manpower to control the whole race. So, assuming the Olympics is a higher priority than TdF stage-hunting, should Cavendish have deliberately lost at the end of the tour to make the other teams believe they had a chance so that they would work for a sprint finish?
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Old 07-28-12, 03:24 PM   #2
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Alternatively, perhaps he should have turned up in a false beard and hoped nobody recognised him.
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Old 07-28-12, 03:31 PM   #3
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No.
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Old 07-28-12, 05:34 PM   #4
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It seems that after two dominating sprints at the end of the Tour de France, every other team was 100% convinced that if the Olympic road race came down to a sprint, Cav would win it. Thus, even the teams with sprinters (Australian, Germany, US, Belgium) were no longer willing to work to bring it to a sprint, and Great Britain simply didn't have the manpower to control the whole race. So, assuming the Olympics is a higher priority than TdF stage-hunting, should Cavendish have deliberately lost at the end of the tour to make the other teams believe they had a chance so that they would work for a sprint finish?
Your analysis of the race is quite plausible- but not of it's relative importance. Being the most successful ever sprinter at the Tour (winningest?) is a massive achievement, which no professional would walk away from- and never to chase the lottery of an Olympic title. I'm not sure which is less likely- Cavendish throwing the chance of another Champs Elysee win - or the other sprinters underestimating him, in a clutch situation.
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Old 07-28-12, 06:51 PM   #5
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Forgetting hindsight and all that, the media frenzy over Cavendish obscured the fact that teams had a max of 5 members (most countries having less than 5), no radios, and 9 loops on Box hill. Even with the run in to London, this course had break away written all over it. Germany did some time a the front of the peloton (not much, for sure) but a break with 30+ is tough to catch.
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Old 07-28-12, 06:53 PM   #6
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Everybody thought the race was gonna come down to sprinters. I thought otherwise. The course is relatively flat, and being a one day winner-take-all classic, I thought a well-timed breakaway had a great chance of producing the winner.

Again, that old lesson: drop the sprinters, and there'll be no sprinter win. Works like a charm all the time.

Edit: benlees beat me to it.
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Old 07-28-12, 11:11 PM   #7
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No radios, and 5 man teams. That's why Cav lost. Love O'Grady's comment about radios:

"I was telling the guys last night, 'without radios, most of those blokes are just sheep. They haven’t got a director telling them what to do."
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Old 07-29-12, 12:03 AM   #8
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No radios, and 5 man teams. That's why Cav lost. Love O'Grady's comment about radios:

"I was telling the guys last night, 'without radios, most of those blokes are just sheep. They haven’t got a director telling them what to do."
And thanks to O'Grady's brilliant tactical insight, Australia got themselves some shiny hardware... oh wait.
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Old 07-29-12, 08:12 AM   #9
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1 stage win versus 3 wouldn't have mattered. He's still the fastest guy on the planet and everybody knew he was targeting the Olympics. The other teams' strategies wouldn't have changed.

You can question how Germany and Australia performed, but just about every other team wanted a break to finish since before the TDF even started.
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Old 07-30-12, 06:37 AM   #10
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maybe he did

It would be interesting to ask Cav how many of the 6 stages Greipel and Sagan won that he thinks he would have taken w/ more team support.
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Old 07-30-12, 09:18 AM   #11
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I agree that Germany and Australia's performances were strange, given that a silver or bronze medal would still have been very prestigious. But the break was huge, and packed with lots of horsepower...bringing it back was always going to be a tall order, no matter the cooperation of the main bunch.
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Old 07-30-12, 11:58 AM   #12
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It's been embarrasing hearing NBC commentators like Bob Costas play up the fact that "pre-race favorite" Cavendish finished 29th, as if it were a dismal failure on his part.
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Old 07-30-12, 12:23 PM   #13
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It's been embarrasing hearing NBC commentators like Bob Costas play up the fact that "pre-race favorite" Cavendish finished 29th, as if it were a dismal failure on his part.
The commentating on both races was so bad I actually had to hit mute. I was like, cringing.
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Old 07-30-12, 01:40 PM   #14
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The commentating on both races was so bad I actually had to hit mute. I was like, cringing.
I could barely believe it when they went into a spiel about how not having timeouts was somethgni unique to cycling during the mens race.

Unique my butt, it is just like any other racing competition.

Then they repeated the same idiocy during the women's race.
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Old 07-30-12, 01:45 PM   #15
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I agree that Germany and Australia's performances were strange, given that a silver or bronze medal would still have been very prestigious. But the break was huge, and packed with lots of horsepower...bringing it back was always going to be a tall order, no matter the cooperation of the main bunch.
Bolding mine.

That is one where i have to agree with the announcers. The break was too big, too many passengers. It was a vunerability.

But I agree with you when it comes ot the number of powerful riders. When I noticed Sparticus was in the break I was thinking there was a huge chance of success.
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Old 08-20-12, 03:47 PM   #16
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Merckx woulda won it without a radio, team, or even a bike. He could do the lot (sprint, climb, descend, cry, crash - you all know this). In fact Eddy was going to come back, but didn't want to embarrass Cav.
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