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Race Strategy

Old 07-15-08, 02:58 PM
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hos13
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Race Strategy

Team CSC is talking about taking the Yellow Jersey in the Alps. What are some of the teams (Lotto, Rabobank, and Slipstream) strategies heading to this week, defense/offense? Can they work together to prevent a CSC onslaught in the Alps.

I'm not pulling for any one team, just wondering what I should be watching for this week.
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Old 07-15-08, 03:40 PM
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I don't think there's a way to prevent a CSC onslaught in the Alps (and I hope to see it, otherwise the depth of their talent would be wasted), however Evans, despite his weaker team is not in a bad position right now. His real threats are very few at the moment with the shake-up in the Pyrenees; his steady nature seems to pay off, but I'd love to see him panic from attacks by Sastre, Schleck or Menchov. And they'll have to attack, time it well and lure him out of his comfort zone to put a bit of time into him, because he'll be able to make up a certain amount in the time trial.
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Old 07-15-08, 04:28 PM
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CSC has shown what they can do. One mountian stage 2 contenders gone.

They will pick some stages to push again. If they do get things down to only one or 2 other contenders they will likely try get one of their 2 contenders off the front in the mountians. This forces the others to decide. Chase or not. Don't chase and if he stays away your tour is done. Chase and both blow up? CSC still has a card to play in their other contender.

Think of 1986 but with a team on the same page for the plus. (Not having rider quite so good as the minus).
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Old 07-15-08, 04:41 PM
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Cadel's TT ability gives him a big advantage.
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Old 07-15-08, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ed073 View Post
Cadel's TT ability gives him a big advantage.
Huge advantage. It really blunts the two pronged attack I spoke of. Atacking half way up hte last climb just won't do it, Cadel can let anyone go and still make it up on the TT.

Cadel just has to stay close in the mountians, like Mig.
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Old 07-15-08, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
like Mig.

+1

he should be watching early 90s Tours on DVD in the hotel.
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Old 07-15-08, 08:29 PM
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Not this one though.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnKhhfX5tEQ
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Old 07-15-08, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by acorn_user View Post
Les Arcs.

the same stage Bruyneel went into the ravijn.
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Old 07-15-08, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ed073 View Post
Cadel's TT ability gives him a big advantage.
Evans better not be too far behind Menchov.
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Old 07-16-08, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by maalea View Post
Evans better not be too far behind Menchov.
yep.

biggest threat, IMO.
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Old 07-16-08, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ed073 View Post
yep.

biggest threat, IMO.
I agree with this, but would also add that Vande Velde was only 3 seconds back of Menchov, and 10 seconds back of Evans in the first ITT.
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Old 07-16-08, 11:59 AM
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CSC really seems ready for the onslaught, which should make for an exciting few days of racing. Stage racing tactics are more complicated than I have in my quiver, but as I see it, evans should let them (csc) attack all they want, and chase nothing that menchov isnt going after. The last TT is about 50k if I recall correctly, he'll beat the schlecks and sastre by a minimum of 3 minutes.

other ideas: lotto puts their team on the front and drives the peloton to prevent CSC from launching - doubt they have the legs for that; more likely, make friends with rabo and collectively drive the peloton to prevent the inevitable CSC attacks, and let menchov/evans settle things in the final TT.
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Old 07-16-08, 12:25 PM
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Is CSC going to be killing themselves in the Alps for Schleck or that wanna-be Sastre? I feel that after all that effort in the Pau-Hautacam stage by CSC, Sastre should've attacked. It was real smart to send Schleck up front; I don't think Sastre has it in him. Can Schleck repeat in the Alps? Evans will be sticking to him like glue, as will Menchov and Vandevelde.

And then there's Richardo Ricco. He could do some monster breakaway in the Alps and grab several minutes on everybody. He's also got the team to wear down the competition in the mountains.

This has been a great Tour so far.
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Old 07-16-08, 12:57 PM
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I think Sastre (and Ricco, FWIW) both tried to escape the Evans group on Hautacam, but couldn't get the gap. Once everyone is on your wheel, there's no point in dragging that group back to the Schleck/Piepoli/Cobo trio.

Schleck and Sastre were both attempting attacks prior to the split, it's just that Schleck's was the one that stuck.

I agree that it's been an enjoyable Tour from a spectators' standpoint. To me, sports are much more interesting when each of the favorites has an exploitable weakness as well as a great strength. For Evans, Menchov, and Vande Velde, it's a lack of explosiveness in the high mountains, but a fantastic ability to TT. For the Schleck/Sastre/Ricco (yes, I'm including him, because he's just too dynamic a climber not to be a factor... the only one that could truly pick up 4+ minutes by attacking), their superlative climbing abilities are tempered by the fact that the Evans/Menchov/VV group are superlative TTers, and 53km can lose you a bunch of time.

In the end, I don't think anything can be done to prevent CSC from making life difficult. I expect one of the favorites to fall off before the Alps, in the transition stages. Maybe a windy day and an echelon, or an unfortunately placed crash. Who will it be though?
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Old 07-16-08, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by justinb View Post
I think Sastre (and Ricco, FWIW) both tried to escape the Evans group on Hautacam, but couldn't get the gap. Once everyone is on your wheel, there's no point in dragging that group back to the Schleck/Piepoli/Cobo trio.

Schleck and Sastre were both attempting attacks prior to the split, it's just that Schleck's was the one that stuck.

I agree that it's been an enjoyable Tour from a spectators' standpoint. To me, sports are much more interesting when each of the favorites has an exploitable weakness as well as a great strength. For Evans, Menchov, and Vande Velde, it's a lack of explosiveness in the high mountains, but a fantastic ability to TT. For the Schleck/Sastre/Ricco (yes, I'm including him, because he's just too dynamic a climber not to be a factor... the only one that could truly pick up 4+ minutes by attacking), their superlative climbing abilities are tempered by the fact that the Evans/Menchov/VV group are superlative TTers, and 53km can lose you a bunch of time.

In the end, I don't think anything can be done to prevent CSC from making life difficult. I expect one of the favorites to fall off before the Alps, in the transition stages. Maybe a windy day and an echelon, or an unfortunately placed crash. Who will it be though?
Sastre and Ricco both had teammates up the road.

Closing a gap on someone that is on the same payroll that you are on is a bad idea.
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Old 07-16-08, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by BananaTugger View Post
Sastre and Ricco both had teammates up the road.

Closing a gap on someone that is on the same payroll that you are on is a bad idea.

Exactly my point. Both tried to escape cleanly, for a bridge attempt, but couldn't. At that point, you just sit in the group and do no work.
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