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Explain TDF strategy to me...
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WARNING, I talk about today's stage, so if you don't want to know anything about what happened don't read any further.



I read that a rider was overtaken by the peleton 2.5 KM from the finish, after leading for 200KM, or something along those lines. I can understand where a group of five or six riders might have a chance against the peleton, but how can one or two guys out pace the peleton on a flat stage? Are these guys just trying to get coverage, or are they seriously trying to win the stage?

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"What the mind can conceive and believe, the mind and body can achieve; and those who stay will be champions."
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Re: Explain TDF strategy to me... [Jack in Mi] [ In reply to ]
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"Are these guys just trying to get coverage, or are they seriously trying to win the stage? "

Both. Being off the front gets your team and sponsors on TV. It's a way for a lesser known rider or team to get some props.

MOST of the time, long breaks get reeled in withing the last couple of kilometers, but SOMETIMES the peleton miscalculates and they stay away. Last year, a large break went away and finished some 20 minutes ahead because the teams in the peleton bickered about who was going to chase and let them go.
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Re: Explain TDF strategy to me... [Jack in Mi] [ In reply to ]
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I don't think it was as long a breakway, but didn't Richard Virenque win Mount Ventoux in 2002 on a similar breakaway?

Also Botero in Les Deaux Alpes

and Boogerd and La Plagne?



None were 200 KM Breakaway's, but they worked.

The Cuban Comet
(Comets are unbelievably slow over Cuba)
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Re: Explain TDF strategy to me... [Jack in Mi] [ In reply to ]
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1. Initially there were two riders in the break working together I presume

2. The peleton is not going "all-out" all day long. There are periods when the pace of the main bunch may slow, or they have a moderate climb. This is when, very often a break solo or group goes off the front. The breakaway can last for a few K's or over 100K's depending on the day and the circumstances

3. If the individual rider or group of riders is no threat to the GC, then they are typically allowed to head up the road until . . .

a) That "on the road lead" becomes a threat to the rider/team in yellow

b) The key sprinter's teams( Telokom for Zabel etc . .) decide that they want to make it a sprint finish and catch the leaders to set up a final sprint finish for their key sprinters.

All that being said a long solo breakaway like that is a herculean effort and riders often struggle mightly to finsih the stage and in the days to come. But notice how that rider is spoken of, particularly if he is able to hold off the charging peleton until within sight of the finishline. He is often the "hero" of the stage, even though on the day he may have finished dead last on the day. Such is bike racing.


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: Explain TDF strategy to me... [Jack in Mi] [ In reply to ]
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Jaja was already higly reveared by the cycling world, but those two long breakaways last year were a fiting ending to his TdF career. I think every rider saluted him as they passed the spent man on the last KM's.

Similarly I felt so badly for Finot he almost did it.

Those breakaways are absolutely beautiful.

The Cuban Comet
(Comets are unbelievably slow over Cuba)
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Re: Explain TDF strategy to me... [Jack in Mi] [ In reply to ]
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It is also important to keep in mind that TdF is about more than the yellow jersey. There are all sorts of races within the race. There are sprinters primes in most stages, so the first few to certain places on the course get points in the points or king of the mountain competition. There are also time bonuses of a few seconds for being the first to certain spots on the course.

Without these subraces, the tour would be pretty boring. Everyone might gang up against Armstrong. Working together, they could definitely deny him the win. No one will forfeit the stage win glory or the various subcompetitions though. if they think they have a shot. These subraces help keep the peleton honest. We don't have those 45 mph finishes because of the yellow jersey competion. Winning a stage or one of the various jerseys in the TdF is a bullet on anyone's resume.
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Re: Explain TDF strategy to me... [ajfranke] [ In reply to ]
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Plus with the time bonuses of the intermediate sprints they could potentially mean the difference with the yellow jersey particularly in the early stages. This could result in the yellow jersey's team sending someone ahead to "neutralize" the time bonsuses. Basically taking them to negate the risk of losing the yellow jersey due to time bonuses.

Long breakaways when they work are what makes some of the stages a more interesting. You never know if someone is going to hold on and stay away.
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Re: Explain TDF strategy to me... [Tyrius] [ In reply to ]
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Those long breaks are very important to the race. If no one did them, the whole peleton could ride like a bunch of tourists and just race the last 100 meters. Sending someone out on a break, forces the team with the yellow jersey or sprinters to organize the peleton and chase. USPS can right now just sit in on the race, since they don't have to defend the yellow jersey, don't care about any of the other jerseys, and are happy to watch the other teams beat each other up.
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Re: Explain TDF strategy to me... [Jack in Mi] [ In reply to ]
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If you can't sprint, climb or TT with the best and have no chance overall then suicidal breakaways are your only hope of winning anything. Those second and third rate French teams that are in the race only because they are French will be trying the same thing most every day because although it's an unlikely chance, it's their only chance to win.
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Re: Explain TDF strategy to me... [Jack in Mi] [ In reply to ]
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those breakaways are great television as well. i was really cheering for that guy to stay away. and i think the peloton got lucky today. the guy seemed to really bonk in those closing km's and it was that more than the peloton turning up the pressure that allowed it to come down to the sprinters...




f/k/a mclamb6
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Not a huge fan of the selection procedure but [ In reply to ]
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while the French may not have a contender, the oppurtunity for some of these guy's does tend to lead to interesting tactics..............
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Re: Not a huge fan of the selection procedure but [Andrewmc] [ In reply to ]
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Not to mention the jersey for the most aggressive rider. Not sure if TDF has it but other major stage races do. Why not sport something different for a day or two. A new jersey to hang on the wall, major props and TV time, which is a good way to pick up chicks

Brian Stover
Accelerate3 Coaching
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Re: Not a huge fan of the selection procedure but [desert dude] [ In reply to ]
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And hey, let's not forget the glittering allure of cold hard cash. All those intermediate sprints and mountain points spots have cash and merch primes associated with them, sometimes VERY substantial ones. The intermediate sprint in Antwerp last year (or was it the year before?) netted the winner a pretty damn big diamond, and didn't somebody win a cow last year?

MH

Formerly at Diamondback Bikes, LeMond Fitness, FSA, TiCycles, etc.
Coaching and bike fit - http://source-e.net/ Cyclocross blog - https://crosssports.net/
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Re: Not a huge fan of the selection procedure but [desert dude] [ In reply to ]
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Most Agressive rider gets a red number in the TDF.
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