"And while the Lance-haters will cry foul because he had his men "attack" after Mayo crashed (a crash that included Postal rider Benjamin Noval), there was nothing unsportsmanlike about it. That attack was part of a plan that had been formulated before the Tour even began, and in fact, Lance had his men on the front hammering for a long time before the crash even happened. Phonak, T-Mobile, CSC, Lotto-Domo, Fassa Bortolo, and Gerolsteiner all helped extend the advantage to the end, playing a bigger role than Postal on the front of the peloton once the cobbles were over. It was a horribly unlucky day for Euskaltel-Euskadi, but lashing out at Lance and his awesome US Postal teammates for that misfortune is just sour grapes."
I don't get it- Why is it ok to attack Mayo when he falls but not Lance or Jan when they fall?
For one he was not the race leader, but merely a favourite for the gc. The race was 'on' at that point with everyone fighting for position to get on the cobbles at the head of the race. The whole point of sections of a race like that is to force a selection. If Mayo couldn't maintain the fight then that is his and his team's problem. It is not up to the others to wait for him. They did not attack once news filtered through that he hit the deck. They were already hammering and there was nothing wrong with continuing that.
Roberto Heras was also delayed by the same mess and his team dropped back immediately and worked to close the then only thirty second gap to the front of the race. Euskatel were not so effective. They dawdled and as a result they didn't get back before the second stretch of cobbles forced another selection. Heras did and made the final group when the race split for good. Mayo, as a result of his team's lack of organisation, did not and lost close to four minutes. Liverty Seguros knew from experience that those sorts of efforts have to be organised without delay. They have great experience in protecting race leaders and gc favourites. Euskatel showed their lack of it!
This situation is not akin to last year's stage to Luz Ardiden or the 2001 stage to Pla d'Adet when Ullrich crashed and Lance waited. ( the others favourites with Lance at that time did not, by the way.) Those were more man to man situations when the race was a lot calmer and easier to control. No one could afford to wait yesterday because they could not guarantee that all the others would.
I think that Mayo's comments best sum it all up. He said that he would have done the exact same thing, had the roles been reversed, and not waited!
In the past when people have punctured or crashed the peloton has gone faster to try and separate riders. All this thing about bad luck is bullshit. There's no coinidence that Lance rarely crashes as he rides at the front, also Ulrich. The prime example was Merckx. He used to even do his turn at the front when he was in yellow and hardly ever crashed or punctured (he had hundreds of seasoned Continental tyres). It's called good organisation.
When you ride at the back, expect the worse. So, no I have no sympathy for Mayo, but Lance should keep his mouth shut as well. I think his comments about Jan were off colour and beneath a champion. Ultimately bad luck and crashes don't win you the race. You have to get over the line.
When Jan went off the cliff Lance waited. Okay he was being sportsman like and didn't want to take advantage of the misfortune of his competitor. When Lance snagged the mussett last year and went down, Jan didn't slow down untill he was told to by someone else. Was Jan being unsportsman like?? I'm not sure.
So yesterday Mayo was involved in a crash and no one slowed down for him. The difference I see is several people were involved in the crash and no one in the front of the pack would be able to know who it was at the time. So the whole peleton didn't slow down.
If the USPS, T-mobile, or Phonak decided to really hammer and push the pace they could have destroyed Mayo. They didn't really attack, they just keep up a pace that they had already established.
The whole point the unwritten rule is you don't attack to destroy someone that has had a misfourtune. No one attacked, they just keep up the same pace.
I would put money on it if Jan, Lance and Mayo were all out in front of the peloton by 5 minutes and Mayo crashed Jan and Lance would slow up and wait. It's all based on individuals......in a situation were a few people crash at the back of the peleton happens, the peleton will keep on going.
When play resumes, the team of the hurt player throws the ball back at the other team. Thats also a bit of fair play.
I feel that despite the fact that Lance said Jan is the most talented rider, or he feared the most, blah, blah, blah, Lance is confident that he can beat Jan, even if he have to wait for Jan like a couple of years ago.
However, Mayo is sort of a wild card, and in sports, favorites hates wildcards. Whether Lance's team have attacked or not, one thing is for sure, Lance's team, and Hamilton's team, and T-Mobile took turn at the front and set the tempo really high, making it hard for the "crashed group" to catch up.
Nothing is wrong with that though.
the entire peloton is not going to wait for one man - Iban Mayo
let's not forget there were 90 some folks in the first group.
in the TdF - how many riders are there?
what happened? they got dropped.
Iban Mayo didn't lose 3:50 because he crashed - he lost 3:50 because his team is an exlusive organization that won't use foreign talent. So a team loaded with guys better suited to climbing and no real power horses. A team that didn't realize Mayo was down for a few minute.
Mayo also cant ride cobbles - he was chasing his own teammates' wheel and was having difficulty just holding the wheel (the hard work was done by his teammates).
He was all over the place - grass, edge of cobble, grass, edge of cobble.
Should have just stayed in the middle where it is fastest... but that's Mayo for you. Climber - one trick pony.
Besides - who's gona wait for Euskatel, a team that has established a reputation for being opportunistic. Remember Luz Aud? Jan Ullrich rode tempo after Lance to limit his losses. Two Euskatel riders (Hamir and Iban) were just following, then at the finish tried to take all the stage points.
Mayo took 2nd place - Ullrich managed to protect for 3rd. Bad taste and bad sportsmenship. To do no work - suck wheel suck wheel, then take bonus that you don't need.
Rather than blame postal etc let's look at the other teams stuck back in the Mayo pack. Did any of them help - No. Even Cipo who went out with a couple of riders sat up when he realised it was no good. (great shot of him asking the cameraman the time gap.)
I think it was good race strategy on Postal, Liberty, T-Mobile and Phonak. They all pushed hard and worked together.
It's the same when it's a breakaway. Either the GC contender teams have to chase (or the sprinters teams) to keep themselves in contention. If they don't catch it - tough!
nzkiwiguy wrote:It's the same when it's a breakaway. Either the GC contender teams have to chase (or the sprinters teams) to keep themselves in contention. If they don't catch it - tough!
yep - just like what CSC did in Paris-Nice.
If you're going to load your team up with Basque climbers and hope you're going to be able to depend on others to chase down breakaway - tough.
Life isn't fair - cycling isn't fair. If it were fair - climbers would have to wear weights and time bonus given to big men.
climbers would have to wear weights and time bonus given to big men
There's one guy in the Tour who is 212 lb's !!! Lead out sprinter. I heard he can burst to some crazy wattage number in the leadout.
He will have fun in the hills! Hell, he's almost two mayo's! Maybe we should half his actual time!
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