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An interesting comment by today's Giro stage winner (SPOILER)

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An interesting comment by today's Giro stage winner (SPOILER)

Old 05-17-10, 11:47 AM
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Creakyknees
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An interesting comment by today's Giro stage winner (SPOILER)

(spoiler enclosed for today's Giro stage)
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Matt Goss on HTC-Columbia usually works leadout for Andre Greipel, but today Greiple was having problems in the closing kilometers. Goss ended up winning the stage:

"At the 400m mark I thought, 'if he’s on my wheel, he’ll pass me in the sprint', but he wasn’t there, so I took the opportunity to win."

http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/93r...tage-9/results

So, this is an interesting insight into the mind of a ProTour leadout guy. He's not waiting for his man. He's not looking behind him. He's following his mission, which is to get to the front in the closing meters.

I wonder if this was really their plan, or if he just 'punted' knowing his man is not in position?

How does your team handle leadouts and setting up in the right order? What do you do if a man is missing?
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Old 05-17-10, 02:39 PM
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I've almost never had a leadout in the "right" order. The best leadout I ever got was where my anchor man stayed in position and the guys who could took pulls before the anchor man went. I didn't win but it was a p123 race and I got 6th - the leadout basically started from the hill at Prospect, and went to about 300 meters to go, so well over a mile. We caught a big break in the sprint.

http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...-leadouts.html

When I first started getting led out I rode really scared, blasted through holes desperately following my much more experienced teammate. A few races like that and I could go through anything comfortably.

When I've tried to leadout my friends, I've either messed up (revert to sprinter thinking and sought shelter) or went through a closing hole that the sprinter didn't go through. Almost always I've already used a lot of gas but found myself in good position. I'd sprint for the line and have placed a few times.

Once, leading out a Cat 4 in a training race (3-4s), I led out, unfortunately rode my sprinter off my wheel. The whole field was back there too. So I stopped at the line (before the line), dismounted, and cheered my teammate to the line - I think he got top 10 but got really swamped. Then everyone asked why I stopped. I thought I wasn't in contention for the sprint (took a lap to change a flat but thought there was no free lap). Ends up there was a free lap and I actually stopped at the line when I could have won. Heh.

cdr

*edit* usually for teamwork at my level we have one or two leadout guys tapped as the primary leadout guys. If they make it, great. If not, not great but no disaster. The sprinter (me, in this case) has to find his way around. That's fine, but it helps if I have a leadout.

Last edited by carpediemracing; 05-17-10 at 03:08 PM. Reason: helping customers distracts my bf words :)
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Old 05-17-10, 10:12 PM
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I'm pretty sure the job of last lead out guy is basically to ride his guts out in the last few hundred meters so the sprinter can come around at full speed at the right moment. A really great lead out can gap the field; e.g. last year, when Mark Renshaw took 2nd on the Champs after leading Cav out for the win. I think lead out guys tend to be swarmed because they've essentially started sprinting 200-500 meters too early, not because they're deliberately sitting up to let their sprinter win. This becomes clear when you see that lead out men winning ahead of their designated sprinters, while not a common occurrence, is far from unknown. Gert Steegmans won the stage into Gent in the 2007 Tour because Boonen couldn't come around him at the end.

Based on that, I don't think there's anything to read into Goss' comment except that he knew coming into the end of the stage that there was some chance that Greipel wouldn't be on his wheel anymore; the guy has been sick. As he said, if Greipel is there when Goss starts sprinting, he'll come around for the win. If not, a really good sprint from 400 meters is still an opportunity to win. Matt Goss said only that he decided to do his job, in the knowledge that doing it right would give Greipel the win if he was there, and give Goss a shot at it, if he wasn't. And that's some good, decisive bike racing there. Good for him.
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Old 05-17-10, 10:35 PM
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I would add, too, that being the designated sprinter means that the DS can then become the biggest distraction of the race. If Greipel was there but his mission was NOT to sprint, it would have thrown off a lot of sprinters.

The first Tues night race this year I was working for my teammate. However, until that point, for the first 6 races of the year, the whole team worked for me. I didnt' open up the sprint because I lost my guy (reverted to sprinter thinking and went through a closing gap). When no one went by I waited a bit, then finally jumped really late. One guy went, he won. I eased. Then, suddenly, about 5 guys went by. It seemed like everyone was waiting for me, but I was waiting for them. Usually the sprint would have started much earlier, but a lot of guys were fighting for my wheel, then trusted me to go at the right time.

Good leadouts, as grolby pointed out, are essentially sprint efforts to the launch point. A good leadout leaves one rider in contention - the rider being led out. Hopefully that's your sprinter. I wanted to lead someone out last year at a spring training series. Again I went through a closing hole, losing my sprinter. But another guy got on my wheel. So I figured I'd lead him out. When I pulled off I'd pulled us clear of the field. The other guy could have soft pedaled to the win. It was satisfying to know that I could make that effort - fun.

cdr
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