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Old 09-24-08, 11:40 AM
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marking opponent on climb?

OK, here's a question maybe the tactics gurus can explain. What, exactly, is the objective of "marking" an opponent one-on-one on a steep climb, i.e. Levi and Sastre on the Angliru?

from velonews:
Leipheimer waited for Sastre to catch up and then marked his wheel, opening the door for Contador to attack.
Back during the Tour, there was a lot of discussion about Andy Schleck marking the GC group after Sastre went up the road (on Alpe d'Huez), and I understand how he could work to disrupt the pace of a chase group. However, there also seemed to be agreement that once Evans started setting his own tempo to limit time losses, there wasn't much anyone could do besides stay with him (or not).

On Angliru, the lead group was totally blown up and Sastre was basically doing an ITT up the last section. He was already OTB of the lead group when Contador lit the afterburners, so what was the purpose of Leipheimer waiting around and then shadowing him? How could he disrupt Sastre when CS is basically alone in his pain cave? Was it just to have someone there in case Sastre ended up back in a group? Provide radio commentary on how Sastre was doing?
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