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Olympic cycling road race

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Chapeau to Carapaz… that looked unbelievably brutal. Even Pogacar looked in trouble on those climbs. 
 

With about 10km to go I thought Carapaz was going to get caught- that would have been tough for him to take- glad he held on and in fact won in some style. He looked a bit happy crossing the line… 😁
 

Post edited at 09:38
 Slackboot 24 Jul 2021
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I wonder what the outcome would have been in the same situation but not in the Olympics? I think a team would have chased him down rather than let him go.

 gazhbo 24 Jul 2021
In reply to Slackboot:

> I wonder what the outcome would have been in the same situation but not in the Olympics? I think a team would have chased him down rather than let him go.

I’m not sure they “let him go”.  He and McNulty made a break from a small group 200 odd k into a hilly race.  Given the same situation in a stage race I can’t imagine any teams would have had enough riders left to co-ordinate a chase.  

 GrahamD 24 Jul 2021
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

What can you say about G ? It's actually a surprise if he doesn't crash !

 Slackboot 24 Jul 2021
In reply to gazhbo:

You are probably right. It's great that Ecuador has won a gold though.

In reply to Slackboot:

Yes, the commentators said there were 5000+m of climbing in 33 degrees heat and 80% humidity- when Carapaz and McNulty went, I don’t think anyone had anything left to follow them. 
 

The bbc coverage could have been better- during a crucial passage of the race, as they were on the second last climb and after Pogacar had attacked, they cut away from the commentators to do an interview with Mark Cavendish…

yes great for Ecuador- only their second ever gold medal. 

disappointing for Roglic, still not fit after his crash at the tour I guess. At least he didn’t actually crash…

And, was Egan Bernal in the race today- I didn’t hear him mentioned

Post edited at 12:05
 elsewhere 24 Jul 2021

Same podium as the tour but reshuffled - the cream rises to the top.

Impressive to keep away and take gold.

One of the things I like about road cycling coverage is the different landscapes and cityscapes, particularly at the moment when travel is so difficult. Japan looks amazing.

Post edited at 12:12
In reply to GrahamD:

> What can you say about G ? It's actually a surprise if he doesn't crash !

well it would be a surprise, if it ever happened…!

is there something about his riding style that makes him (and Roglic) more prone to crashes?

Post edited at 12:09
 steveriley 24 Jul 2021
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Good stuff, I quite liked the small teams (with some mini alliances of pro teammates) and lack of race radios. Made it more honest. 

 Marek 24 Jul 2021
In reply to elsewhere:

> Same podium as the tour but reshuffled - the cream rises to the top.

Well, you're 2/3 right. WvA wasn't on TdF podium, but I was glad to see him do well here.

 Marek 24 Jul 2021
In reply to Slackboot:

> I wonder what the outcome would have been in the same situation but not in the Olympics? I think a team would have chased him down rather than let him go.

No different, I think. Team (defensive) tactics tend to have less impact in attritional/chaotic one day races than in GTs.

 GrahamD 24 Jul 2021
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> well it would be a surprise, if it ever happened…!

> is there something about his riding style that makes him (and Roglic) more prone to crashes?

David Miller was quite opinionated on this during the TdF.  He puts it down to lack of concentration rather than a bike handling thing.

 elsewhere 24 Jul 2021
In reply to Marek:

> Well, you're 2/3 right. WvA wasn't on TdF podium, but I was glad to see him do well here.

Oops.

 felt 24 Jul 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

> David Millar was quite opinionated on this during the TdF.  He puts it down to lack of concentration rather than a bike handling thing.

I've seen it stated that his background on the track means that he's good at left-handed cornering but not so much at right-handed; his out-of-nowhere Dauphine crash was on the left, so maybe not.

 GrahamD 24 Jul 2021
In reply to felt:

David Millar just thought that he tended to 'turn off at times.  He certainly didn't put it down to bad luck !

 GrahamD 24 Jul 2021
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Great result for Carapaz after repeatedly being unable to unseat Pogacher and Vinegaard at the TdF.

As someone else pointed out, no Bernal.  Maybe just the conditions ?

 daftdazza 24 Jul 2021
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

He is widely known for being a poor bike handler compared to his world tour peers, certainly don't see someone with bike handling ability of van Aert or vander Poel crash as often, probably difference between developing as a pursuit rider on track Vs cyclo cross in winter.

 magma 24 Jul 2021
 Marek 24 Jul 2021
In reply to magma:

Err, 3 years ago? Hardly 'news'.

Post edited at 18:17
 wercat 24 Jul 2021
In reply to Marek:

I thought it was a suggestion that it was relevant, not news

 Marek 24 Jul 2021
In reply to wercat:

> I thought it was a suggestion that it was relevant, not news

Relevant how? Tramadol use has be banned since about then.

 Boomer Doomer 24 Jul 2021
In reply to Slackboot:

> I wonder what the outcome would have been in the same situation but not in the Olympics? I think a team would have chased him down rather than let him go.

I think there's some truth in that. I think one possible reason why he managed to stay away was that no one was gonna help WvA to close the gap, only to get out-sprinted by him at the line. WvA had to do it all himself, whereas I'm sure Jumbo Visma would have reeled him in fairly comfortably... but then again, the "Skytrain" (Ineos) would have had a say in that as well.

 Matt Podd 24 Jul 2021
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Wishing Lizzie Deighnan loads of luck tomorrow. Go Otley's finest.

 DaveHK 24 Jul 2021
In reply to Slackboot:

> I wonder what the outcome would have been in the same situation but not in the Olympics? I think a team would have chased him down rather than let him go.

Organised chases by teams is mostly a feature of flatter stages in stage races. It's much less of a thing on hillier terrain and even less so in hilly one day races where you tend to get a gradual (or not so gradual) selection like happened today.

So while it undoubtedly would have been a different beast with trade teams I doubt we'd have seen some sort of organised chase as teams rarely have the numbers present or the ability to do that at the end of a long, hilly one day race.

Post edited at 19:46
 Yanis Nayu 24 Jul 2021
In reply to Matt Podd:

I’m rooting for AVV after what happened to her in Rio. 

 Slackboot 24 Jul 2021
In reply to DaveHK:

Yes, I stand corrected. That makes sense. 

 DaveHK 24 Jul 2021
In reply to Slackboot:

> Yes, I stand corrected. That makes sense. 

Also, I just read that there was no race radio which can make a difference to whether an organised chase happens or not.

 Marek 24 Jul 2021
In reply to DaveHK:

> Also, I just read that there was no race radio which can make a difference to whether an organised chase happens or not.

By the time they got to the final selection (when McNulty & Carapaz made their move) there were no 'teams' left - each rider was the sole representative of their country and a medal contender - so even with radios, any chase organisation was going to be decided 'on the road'. Nobody was willing or able to help WvA (much), so Carapaz won. Whether that was good planning & timing or just luck - who can say?

 DaveHK 24 Jul 2021
In reply to Marek:

>  Whether that was good planning & timing or just luck - who can say?

D: All of the above.

In reply to Marek:

The women’s race played out quite similarly to the men’s. Lots of negative riding, so much so they couldn’t bring back the breakaway rider.

No one wanted to help the Dutch team (much like how the men didn’t want to help WVA) so they had to settle for silver.

Nice to see the women’s race as I must admit I don’t get a chance to see much women’s cycling.

 Fredt 25 Jul 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

The women's race commentary and coverage was extemely frustrating.

The peloton was happy to let the breakaway go, but they were obviously not aware of the gaps, because of lack of information. The subsequent behaviour of the peloton could only be explained by lack of, or mis-nformation. When Kiesenhofer went with 40k to go, no-one in the peloton was aware, and they thought they were chasing just the remaining two riders. They did this brilliantly, and van Vleuten and the others in the peloton did a textbook chase to reel them in. It was clear they thought they were sprinting for gold, and Van Vleuten thought she had won when she crossed the line! A brilliant race, but Boardman and co. never once picked this up or explained what was happening.

Not connected, but even at the end, the cameras and interviewers mobbed van Vleuten and the Dutch team, poor old Kiesenhofer had no-one to celebrate with!

 Pedro50 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Fredt:

Where did the peloton think kiesenhofer had gone?

In reply to Fredt:

I agree the commentary would pretty poor. I was watching on Eurosport and it wasn’t much better.

I didn’t see any of the aftermath, but I assumed they knew they were all competing for silver.

Surely they could have put someone on the roadside to shout out the time gaps and the riders ahead of them in the break?

Either way, a great bit of racing (or at least the last 60k I saw after rolling out of bed).

 Pedro50 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Pedro50:

Boardman pointed out the lack of information to the peleton was frustrating however he could only call what he was watching. Apparently VV did think she had won.

However the 5 person break got away in Km1; the peloton caught 2 riders and then another 2 near the finish. Perhaps someone might have noticed there was still one ahead. Great win though.

 Fredt 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Pedro50:

> Boardman pointed out the lack of information to the peleton was frustrating however he could only call what he was watching.

I called what I was watching, it was so bleedin' obvious, and I am certainly no 'Expert'.

 gazhbo 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Fredt:

> I called what I was watching, it was so bleedin' obvious, and I am certainly no 'Expert'.

Even so, and even without radios, it’s pretty incredible that nobody in the chasing group cottoned on that they’d only caught 4 out of 5.  Didn’t they ask the riders they caught?

 Marek 25 Jul 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> ...any of the aftermath, but I assumed they knew they were all competing for silver.

Apparently not. According to reports, they'd forgotten about the last breakaway rider and thought they were competing for gold. Embarrassing!

> Surely they could have put someone on the roadside to shout out the time gaps and the riders ahead of them in the break?

The moto at the head of the peloton is supposed to show the time gap. I don't know why that didn't happen. Organisation foul-up? Riders not paying attention?

 gazhbo 25 Jul 2021
In reply to gazhbo:

The lack of radios definitely made more of a difference today though.  I didn’t think it really has much impact yesterday.  
 
Kiesenhofer was awesome, and it’s not her fault everyone else didn’t know what was going on.  But it would have been a better watch if they were actually chasing her down with time to catch her.

 gazhbo 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Marek:

> Apparently not. According to reports, they'd forgotten about the last breakaway rider and thought they were competing for gold. Embarrassing!

> The moto at the head of the peloton is supposed to show the time gap. I don't know why that didn't happen. Organisation foul-up? Riders not paying attention?

Reading the news reports now Van Vlueten thought she’d won but is taking it with pretty good grace.  She may not have caught her anyway even if they’d known.  Like you say, pretty embarrassing and I can imagine she’d be pretty pissed off if it was an organisation cock up.  I still can’t believe nobody at the front of the race could count to 5 though!

 Yanis Nayu 25 Jul 2021
In reply to gazhbo:

Lot easier said than done in the chaos of a road race. 

 bridgstarr 25 Jul 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> Surely they could have put someone on the roadside to shout out the time gaps and the riders ahead of them in the break?

> Either way, a great bit of racing (or at least the last 60k I saw after rolling out of bed).

I'd much prefer if they had no comms in any racing, to get away from riding by power numbers. I loved the race today.

If I was in charge of UCI, I would like to ban radios, but you couldn't stop people on roadside providing some info.

 Marek 25 Jul 2021
In reply to bridgstarr:

> I'd much prefer if they had no comms in any racing, to get away from riding by power numbers.

Not sure I see the connection. Comms? Power?

> If I was in charge of UCI, I would like to ban radios, but you couldn't stop people on roadside providing some info.

The chaos today was more to do with the lack of experience of no-radios rather than the lack of radios itself. Ban radios in all races and all that happens is that breakaways are kept under much tighter restriction or not allowed to get away at all. It also plays into big (well organised) teams' hands in that the same info is always available from the team cars, it just requires a domestique to drop back and get it (as well as some bottles). 

In reply to bridgstarr:

I’m not sure about the no race radios idea. Sure it creates a bit of a novelty, but as the riders adapt you’d probably just see domestiques going back to the team cars to ask for time gaps and the better resources teams putting people at the side of the road to hold up signs.

What I would like to see is all rider power data made public. Use a power meter, have to show all your data to your competition (and us punters who want to see it). Don’t use a power meter then you can keep it quiet (but no riding to power).

 bridgstarr 25 Jul 2021
In reply to Marek:

> Not sure I see the connection. Comms? Power?

If you are chasing the breakaway, and you know the time gap and you know your power, after a period of time you see the time gap again, and you have a good indication of what power is necessary to bring it back. The DS know what their riders can do and for how long, they calculate how many riders to expend and at what power to bring the breakaway back.

It's no co-incdence that breakaways are very often pulled back very close to the line. If they didn't have the time deltas it would add a great deal more uncertainty to a lot of races, which in a 4 or 5 hour event is something I'd like to see more of.

 bridgstarr 25 Jul 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> I’m not sure about the no race radios idea. Sure it creates a bit of a novelty, but as the riders adapt you’d probably just see domestiques going back to the team cars to ask for time gaps and the better resources teams putting people at the side of the road to hold up signs.

I'm not sure it's just novelty. I think it would reward racecraft. But I do agree it would be near impossible to manage in real life

> What I would like to see is all rider power data made public. Use a power meter, have to show all your data to your competition (and us punters who want to see it). Don’t use a power meter then you can keep it quiet (but no riding to power).

I would certainly be keen to see live power data in races. I can understand why they often aren't too keen on showing their training rides, but it would be good to see

In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Pidcock has just taken gold. Go team GB.

 Boomer Doomer 26 Jul 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

He's a very talented lad! De Brabantse Pijl win, nearly won the Amstel Gold and Olympic champion on his MTB!

 wbo2 26 Jul 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

have to show all your data to your competition (and us punters who want to see it). Don’t use a power meter then you can keep it quiet (but no riding to power).

Even training data? Really? How often would you like to see it - real time?  What about heart rate data, or logs of distance /Speed?

 DaveHK 26 Jul 2021
In reply to Boomer Doomer:

> He's a very talented lad! De Brabantse Pijl win, nearly won the Amstel Gold and Olympic champion on his MTB!

I am really excited to finally see a British rider who's a genuine, top class, classics contender. Let's hope the ineos machine don't try to turn him into a stage racer!

Post edited at 09:36
 Enty 26 Jul 2021
In reply to Marek:

> Not sure I see the connection. Comms? Power?

It's ruined modern road racing. Having the DS sat in his car with a laptop telling you if you stay at X watts for the next 30 minutes you'll catch Y with Z km go.  It's crap.

E

In reply to Enty:

Exactly. Bring it back in line with say marathon running. 

Cyclists have to make their own judgement on if they think the break away pack is slowing, how hard to push to catch up etc..  that's racing. 

 Boomer Doomer 26 Jul 2021
In reply to Enty:

I'm also in agreement. I watched Chris Horner's YT analysis of the women's race and aside from the usual "knucklehead" comments directed at the Dutch team, he seemed to be adamant that radios should be used. I think that would have meant the stellar individual performance from Anna K would never have happened and there was definitely an heroic element of the "amateur" Olympian in that performance.

 r0b 26 Jul 2021
In reply to Enty:

> It's ruined modern road racing. Having the DS sat in his car with a laptop telling you if you stay at X watts for the next 30 minutes you'll catch Y with Z km go.  It's crap.

Have you any evidence that that's what actually happens in a bike race with radios?

In reply to r0b:

> Have you any evidence that that's what actually happens in a bike race with radios?

Why wouldn't it? If you know the lead pack is holding say 40kph, you lift to 41/42kph and you can catch them at a very precise point. You won't see them for ages, but your team will tell you exactly how you're closing the gap. 

Equally, the pack will know riders behind are trying to catch up, but also who, if they are sprint finish specialists and so on. 

TdF is choreographed like this the entire way. Team tactics win, not individual judgement. 

 Yanis Nayu 26 Jul 2021
In reply to r0b:

I think it’s vastly overstated. Firstly, you don’t know what power etc your competitor is doing or us capable of doing, how much they have left in the tank. Secondly you have to keep adapting for hills, wind changes. Thirdly, what you are capable of on a particular day and at a particular day varies. It’s doesn’t matter if a DS says “Do 400w for 20 minutes” if you can’t. I’d be amazed if pro riders aren’t incredibly attuned to what their legs are telling them. 

 Toby_W 26 Jul 2021
In reply to gazhbo: If only they’d had someone better at maths in the group😀

Cheers

Toby

> Even so, and even without radios, it’s pretty incredible that nobody in the chasing group cottoned on that they’d only caught 4 out of 5.  Didn’t they ask the riders they caught?

In reply to Yanis Nayu:

I'd agree with power outputs, what matters are speeds on the ground, are you gaining or losing relative to other competitors you can't see. 

 bridgstarr 26 Jul 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I think it’s vastly overstated. Firstly, you don’t know what power etc your competitor is doing or us capable of doing, how much they have left in the tank.

You don't know how hard the other riders are going, but it is an iterative process that occurs through the race, a bit of cat and mouse. The peloton may increase the pace, this gets fed back to the break. The break may or may not respond. Depending on this the peloton reacts again.

>Secondly you have to keep adapting for hills, wind changes.

Yes, but this is standard stuff that you can estimate, it just makes it more challenging. I am a pretty amateur cyclist and I have a good idea of how much extra power I would put out on what gradient in order to maximise my average speed. These guys do this for a living

>Thirdly, what you are capable of on a particular day and at a particular day varies. It’s doesn’t matter if a DS says “Do 400w for 20 minutes” if you can’t. I’d be amazed if pro riders aren’t incredibly attuned to what their legs are telling them. 

Yes and so its a two way process. Riders feed back to the DS that all goes into the decision making process

But the biggest argument that you're missing is that if the chase group has no idea where the leaders then it completely transforms how you ride. Teams only pull on front of there's something in it for them. It makes that decision far more difficult if they have no idea if there is anything in it for them.

For a break away to get away they have to go into the red and energy cost is significant. It is far more efficient for the chasing group to pull them back slowly. But if the chasing group has to bury themselves because they don't know for sure that they will pull them back, it evens it up a bit.

Post edited at 12:04
In reply to bridgstarr:

> But the biggest argument that you're missing is that if the chase group has no idea where the leaders then it completely transforms how you ride. Teams only pull on front of there's something in it for them. It makes that decision far more difficult if they have no idea if there is anything in it for them.

> For a break away to get away they have to go into the red and energy cost is significant. It is far more efficient for the chasing group to pull them back slowly. But if the chasing group has to bury themselves because they don't know for sure that they will pull them back, it evens it up a bit.

In 99% of cases the pack let’s the breakaway go. The GC/ Sprint teams see that there are no threats in the break, don’t chase and then block the road to give them the time gap.

The mostly likely scenario if all communication was banned would be the break not being allowed to get away. 

As to the point around the break being chased down to power; it’s not going to be that sophisticated. The guys like Tim DeClerq can put out a stupid number of watts for a massive distance, but you’re not going to ask him to raise his tempo beyond what he feels comfortable with to catch a break, you’d just ask another rider to help him. All that requires is a vague idea of how many seconds you’re taking off per km. The more riders chasing the more s/km you can bring back.

Riding to power is really something for the mountains when you need to stop yourself going into the red.

 bridgstarr 26 Jul 2021
In reply to bridgstarr:

Sorry to bang a drum, another example was Cav making the time cut each day. I'm made up that he did, but he got to expend the least amount of energy possible to get over the mountains and still make the time cut. That wasn't just luck, that was the DS estimating the finishing times, and getting Cav to ride at the necessary pace

 r0b 26 Jul 2021
In reply to summo:

Well whenever the topic of race radios come up riders when asked say that there is nothing like the level of control from the car that many people assume, that it is chaotic and the information they get is not that great. Most decisions are still made on the road. And remember that there will be a 1-2 minute delay on a feed if the DS is streaming a race

 wbo2 26 Jul 2021
In reply to r0b:  Are you saying that or assuming that because when I'm watching TV coverage, from the feed, we get a time difference that updates every few seconds.

I can easily believe they are told to ride so many watts for so many minutes.  Watts are what the riders training is based around, so a decent DS will be very aware of what a rider can generate for how long, and what that will achieve given the conditions and time gaps. Or don't you think the DS's look at riders training programmmes and data? They write , or at least agree to, the training programmes and they will be specified in watts and durations

Radios have a huge impact.  You know who's in the group, where they are and what they're doing, and it's good to see a race without them.  And riders do say that.  Maybe not when they're together in a bunch fighting on a hill, but when you'ære controlling a breakaway, yes

 bridgstarr 26 Jul 2021
In reply to r0b:

Yet in the race yesterday, they didn't  even know there was a rider ahead of them.

I'm sure you're you're right that it's not quite as robotic as perhaps I make out when they do have communication, but there was a stark contrast between yesterday's race and every other race I've seen this year. I do accept that one data point doesn't settle the argument though

 GrahamD 26 Jul 2021
In reply to bridgstarr:

> Yet in the race yesterday, they didn't  even know there was a rider ahead of them.

A few of them did.  Vos knew and Kopecky in 4th knew she wasn't in the medals.  I think it's poor communication or possibly hubris from the Dutch 'team'.

 GrahamD 26 Jul 2021
In reply to summo:

> TdF is choreographed like this the entire way. Team tactics win, not individual judgement. 

I'd say it's the strongest rider left upright that generally wins.

Post edited at 14:56
 gazhbo 26 Jul 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

> A few of them did.  Vos knew and Kopecky in 4th knew she wasn't in the medals.  I think it's poor communication or possibly hubris from the Dutch 'team'.

I read that too.  It seems amazing that Vos knew but Van Vlueten didn’t.  They were all sat up chatting at one point.  Maybe Vos just assumed she knew!

 Yanis Nayu 26 Jul 2021
In reply to wbo2:

I know how many watts I can do for pretty much every duration from a second to 5 hours. Never given me a jot of assistance in a race. As someone up thread says, the long climbs are where they potentially make a difference, and that’s only for the diesels who don’t try to attack. As for the rest, you can either do it or you can’t. If you can’t you get dropped, or don’t make the break, or get stuck at the back. 

 Marek 26 Jul 2021
In reply to summo:

> TdF is choreographed like this the entire way. Team tactics win, not individual judgement. 

They may try - I don't doubt - but does it work? I would refer you to an article from the INRNG blog in 2016: https://inrng.com/2016/02/race-radios-everywhere/

In summary, there was some statistical analysis of stage pre- and post-radio and one of the main conclusions was that "... there no meaningful increase in the number of bunch sprints since the introduction of radios. This is contrary to the received idea that radios allow teams to rein in breakaways."

Granted, that's not the only charge laid at the radios' door, but as INRNG says, there are a lot of contributing factors as to why racing may (or may not) be perceived to be more boring, but there's little evidence that radios are a key factor. Old men wearing rose tinted glass and mumbling in their beer is probably a bigger one.

 bridgstarr 26 Jul 2021
In reply to Marek:

I have a terrible memory, but did they used to display time gaps from motorbikes? I suspect I may be misremembering that. If so then that analysis probably torpedoes my argument!

 Yanis Nayu 26 Jul 2021
In reply to Marek:

The logic would be that if you don’t have good, reliable info to rely on you don’t let the break go. 

 Marek 26 Jul 2021
In reply to bridgstarr:

>... but there was a stark contrast between yesterday's race and every other race I've seen this year...

The thing is, however much yesterday's race may have been entertaining - as long as you weren't Dutch - in reality it was an embarrassing shambles for pretty much everyone except for the winner. Would you want all races to be like that?

At the end of the day, yesterday's outcome had little to do with the lack of radios - by the time AK made her solo bid for gold it was already too late for the chasers to do anything about it. The Dutch 'team' (really?) had spent too much time dithering about who's going to 'do the work' and had waved bye-bye to gold.

 Marek 26 Jul 2021
In reply to bridgstarr:

> I have a terrible memory, but did they used to display time gaps from motorbikes? I suspect I may be misremembering that. If so then that analysis probably torpedoes my argument!

They did (on a little blackboard), but I suppose it was relatively hit-and-miss as to exactly when the board were shown.

 r0b 26 Jul 2021
In reply to summo:

> TdF is choreographed like this the entire way. Team tactics win, not individual judgement. 

How can you separate team tactics and individual judgement? The team tactics employed are down to the judgement of an individual, whether that be the DS or the team leader/road captain. Do you think pre radios no team tactics were involved and all riders in a team did their own thing?

 Marek 26 Jul 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> The logic would be that if you don’t have good, reliable info to rely on you don’t let the break go. 

Or at least not out of sight for too long.

 bridgstarr 26 Jul 2021
In reply to Marek:

> >... but there was a stark contrast between yesterday's race and every other race I've seen this year...

> The thing is, however much yesterday's race may have been entertaining - as long as you weren't Dutch - in reality it was an embarrassing shambles for pretty much everyone except for the winner. Would you want all races to be like that?

Personally, I would like more races to be like that. And I think the other side of was that it was a herculean effort that showed immense bravery and grit from the winner.

Maybe the problem is I always want the breakaway to win and usually end up disappointed

 wbo2 26 Jul 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Well you should analyse if you're getting full value from your training then - hint - you're not - but then I don't believe you.  You've never looked at your powermeter , thought , I'm hurting but my watts say I can push harder , and done that?  Or you just train using watts, then bin it all out and race entirely on feel? 

Marek - would I prefer all races like that? Well if no radios was the norm, they wouldn't be like that as people adapt

 Marek 26 Jul 2021
In reply to bridgstarr:

> ... And I think the other side of was that it was a herculean effort that showed immense bravery and grit from the winner.

Absolutely. She knew she was an underdog, she knew what she had to do to give herself the best  chance and executed it to perfection. That should be celebrated!

But if the Dutch had got their act together  - or if even just AvV had committed earlier instead of waiting for someone else to do the work - I doubt AK would have been on the podium. But that's the great thing about one day races: It really is just about what you do, not about what you should have done or might have done.

 Marek 26 Jul 2021
In reply to wbo2:

> Marek - would I prefer all races like that? Well if no radios was the norm, they wouldn't be like that as people adapt

Exactly my point. Take away the radios and races will be much the same as they are now (except breakaways will be allow less leeway).

Although the key 'eyebrow raiser' from yesterday was more about the Dutch disorganisation and general attitude rather than the whole no-radio-didn't-know-AK-was-still-out-there business. That was just a cherry on the pie.

 Yanis Nayu 26 Jul 2021
In reply to wbo2:

I’m pretty sure you’ve never ridden in a road race. Thanks for the patronising comments though. 

In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Yep. One of the most ignorant comments I’ve read on UKC - and that’s saying something.

Edit: I was going to bite earlier, but thought I’d calm myself down with a turbo session.

Post edited at 19:04
In reply to r0b:

> How can you separate team tactics and individual judgement? The team tactics employed are down to the judgement of an individual, whether that be the DS or the team leader/road captain. Do you think pre radios no team tactics were involved and all riders in a team did their own thing?

Of course somebody still has to make the decision. But with radios decisions are based on greater oversight, they aren't speculating group gaps, if the break away is flagging up the hill etc. They know. 

In reply to wbo2:

What’s your racing background out of interest? 

I’m a bit of a road race newbie, but I’ve done races and I’ve never looked at my power meter during the race.

 wbo2 26 Jul 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:  Well grist to your mill some mountain bike racing and international standard running.  But I'm interested in training , racing, and have trained with genuine elite athletes.

I find it interesting you train with a tool that will tell you exactly how many watts you can sustain for so long, but when you race you ignore it, and either underperform, blow up, or if you're lucky hit the nail on the head.  You can say exactly the same for heart rate/threshold data, and plenty people race to that. 

 Yanis Nayu 26 Jul 2021
In reply to wbo2: 

You are failing to account for drafting, which is the critical thing. Ideally, your power meter will read zero as much as possible. Of course you do to need to look at it to know it’s reading zero…

In reply to wbo2:

Okay, but you can appreciate that MTB racing and running are different.

In road racing (I’ve only done two races to date) all I’ve tried to do is hold the wheel in front of me, try not crash someone out and not to crash myself. If you lose the wheel in front of you you go out the back (which happened the first time and nearly the second time).

If the person ahead of you goes faster, you have to go faster. If they start sprinting, you start sprinting ect.

Power meters are great for getting a higher FTP, but not so useful for amateur races.

 JLS 26 Jul 2021
In reply to wbo2:

>”I find it interesting you train with a tool that will tell you exactly how many watts you can sustain for so long, but when you race you ignore it”

As others have said, UK road races don’t really lend themselves to riding to power. You are often required to ride faster than is sustainable. It’s mostly a test of who can make the most, and recover best from, unsustainable efforts.

Post edited at 21:03
 daftdazza 26 Jul 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

Power meters are good for training but doubtful how useful they are for amateur or pro racing, there is a reason why not many pro triathletes with impressive power to weight ratio can compete in road races, it's a poor snap shoot of what a rider can actually do in a race, with sustained burst of 1 min max power might be more relevant than 1 hour FTP.  Certainly with modern crop of aggressive attacking riders less thought is going into power numbers than Wiggins, Thomas, Evans generations, and even less relevant in cyclo cross and mountain biking than road.

 Enty 26 Jul 2021
In reply to bridgstarr:

> Sorry to bang a drum, another example was Cav making the time cut each day. I'm made up that he did, but he got to expend the least amount of energy possible to get over the mountains and still make the time cut. That wasn't just luck, that was the DS estimating the finishing times, and getting Cav to ride at the necessary pace

This this this!

I was lucky enough to have dinner with Eros Poli a few years ago. He was Cippolini's lead out man in the 90s. 6'4" and 85 kilos.

He was known as the Bus Driver. He would get the grupetto together in the mountains and he would work out what the time limit was for that days stage and take the autobus through the mountains and get them over the line within the cut-off time. No one could work out how he did it but he always did.

He's my cycling hero.

E

 Enty 26 Jul 2021
In reply to JLS:

> >”I find it interesting you train with a tool that will tell you exactly how many watts you can sustain for so long, but when you race you ignore it”

> As others have said, UK road races don’t really lend themselves to riding to power. You are often required to ride faster than is sustainable. It’s mostly a test of who can make the most, and recover best from, unsustainable efforts.

Nail on head.

Same here in France. I've never used a power meter but back in the 2000s I used HR and zonal training. I got serious about racing, ditched all the heart rate straps, POLAR monitors etc etc and guess what I started getting podiums.

We get loads of amateurs here with power meters on their bikes, you'll be riding up a 6km climb and 1 or 2 km from the top they'll suddenly sit up and slow down. You ask why and they are so dialed in to their numbers that they know they can't sustain that power for the extra 2km to the top so after 4km they slow down. How shit is that? 

It's a running joke between me and the two guides who work for me. When I pick a cyclist up from the airport and he has a power meter on his bike and he weighs 110 kilos you know the cycling isn't going to be enjoyable. You stop at a bar in the middle of Provence and the chat is about watts.

E

Post edited at 21:54
 daftdazza 26 Jul 2021
In reply to wbo2:

How does racing to power work for mountain biking? With all courses being different, with various sections of different lengths on each course were you would apply power, hard to see how useful they would be, could have long climbs then shorter flatter sections that require different amount of power, but at same time with technical nature of courses difficult to spend much time looking at power meter, to work out what your average power is for each section and then how this relates to your actual maximum 1 hour, or 5 minute effort when each effort is broken up with downhill and technical sections which you would use as rest.  From experience racing cyclo cross a power meter is little relevance when in some races I might have to spend half a lap running.  Power metres certainly relevant on some tour de France style mountain climbs but less so in 1 day classics suited to more attacking style of racing.  Interesting too see in this year's tour de France would have break aways with group of riders all of similar abilities and I guess FTP, but no indication who would survive to end and win as other factors such race craft end up being more relevant.

 Toby_W 26 Jul 2021
In reply to Enty:

Always a good giggle watching incredibly fit triathletes do badly in road races, computer says no🤣🤣

Cheers

Toby

In reply to r0b:

Quite often hear riders talking about hitting their numbers these days, and it's evident in the tactics of recent years. Like telemetry in F1 more data leads to more predictability of the results.

In reply to balmybaldwin:

> Quite often hear riders talking about hitting their numbers these days, and it's evident in the tactics of recent years.

Tacx, strava, garmin ... they spew out numbers constantly. Easy to get drawn into the game. 

 Fredt 27 Jul 2021
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I’m enjoying the mountain biking coverage, the camera work is excellent.

 Yanis Nayu 27 Jul 2021
In reply to Fredt:

How good does Neff look on a bike?

 Fredt 27 Jul 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> How good does Neff look on a bike?

Yes, looks very skilful compared with the rest.

 GrahamD 27 Jul 2021
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> Quite often hear riders talking about hitting their numbers these days, and it's evident in the tactics of recent years. Like telemetry in F1 more data leads to more predictability of the results.

Its a bit of a modern cliché,  though.  Like riding at "full gas" or being "super motivated ".

People like Mercx were very much into their training numbers, although all he had to go on was speed and distance.  Still, numbers were still all important. (OK "people like Mercx," but you get the drift).

Plus F1 was always dull as dishwater with the odd bit of overtaking every few races.

 GrahamD 27 Jul 2021
In reply to Enty:

> Nail on head.

> Same here in France. I've never used a power meter but back in the 2000s I used HR and zonal training. I got serious about racing, ditched all the heart rate straps, POLAR monitors etc etc and guess what I started getting podiums.

> We get loads of amateurs here with power meters on their bikes, you'll be riding up a 6km climb and 1 or 2 km from the top they'll suddenly sit up and slow down. You ask why and they are so dialed in to their numbers that they know they can't sustain that power for the extra 2km to the top so after 4km they slow down. How shit is that? 

> .... you know the cycling isn't going to be enjoyable. You stop at a bar in the middle of Provence ...

Sounds enjoyable enough to me 😆

 GrahamD 27 Jul 2021
In reply to DaveHK:

> Let's hope the ineos machine don't try to turn him into a stage racer!

The Ineos 'machine' has done OK at the Olympics so far.

In reply to GrahamD:

If Ganna or Dennis win they’ve got the trio of men’s races.

I can’t see anyone stopping Top Ganna despite the amount of elevation in the TT course.

Pidcock would be a fantastic stage racer. Sure one day races are fun, but if he gets a decent result at the Vuelta then I don’t see why he shouldn’t try to go for a grand tour stage win.

 steveriley 27 Jul 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

8th in the medal table if they were a country?

 Marek 27 Jul 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> ... Sure one day races are fun, ...

I may be old fashioned, but I though that 'fun' was the whole point of sport? And I mean 'fun to do' rather than 'fun to watch' (I've never been much into spectating, even for sport I like to do.)

In reply to Marek:

Surely if you’re a pro you want to make some cash and then if you’re really good leave a legacy. Fun would be an added bonus.

Only the hardcore fans will remember who won the Amstel gold race in a given year and it doesn’t command a multi-million pound salary.

If I was in his position (and I appreciate I’m not) I’d be spending lots of time on my TT bike and begging Dave Brailsford for a shot at the TdF.

 Marek 27 Jul 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

I find it hard to believe that anyone (with two brain cells to rub together) would go into sport in order to make money (as opposed to because they love it). Yes, it's nice to be paid (for a while) to do something you like doing anyway and yes, a tiny number of sports people do make a lot of money. The vast majority of 'pros' probably only just cover expenses and living costs whilst they're competing and then have to find something else to do to earn a living.

> Only the hardcore fans will remember who won the Amstel gold race...

And perhaps more importantly the winner?

As for 'legacy', that's more of a media figment than something sports people aspire to (IMHO).

 GrahamD 27 Jul 2021
In reply to Marek:

It will be interesting to watch.  Shouldn't forget that CX is also a main string to his bow.

 Marek 27 Jul 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> If I was in his position (and I appreciate I’m not) I’d be spending lots of time on my TT bike and begging Dave Brailsford for a shot at the TdF.

But to GET into his position you would have to be addicted to riding, racing and winning and generally doing what you love. "I was born to ride a mountain bike." That doesn't change just because you become successful. Perhaps he loves riding a TT bike, but somehow I doubt it (has he ever ridden one?) and he's certainly not morphologically well suited to that discipline.

In reply to Marek:

I completely get what you’re saying and I don’t disagree with any of it.

The kids amazingly talented. He might decide to keep riding cross and MTB, but if you had the talent and the genetic ability to potentially win the Tour de France would you want to finish your career not having given it a shot?

He’s still got plenty of time. It will be interesting to see what he chooses to do.

 Nic Barber 27 Jul 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

I would say the conditions could play a part in Ganna's TT. He's a big guy so if it's hot and humid he will struggle in the heat compared to comparatively smaller TTers - WvA, Evenepoel and maybe Dennis, Thomas. Are Pog and Rog in for the TT?

As is, the typhoon may cool things down a bit, though I assume they increase humidity a bit?!

 Yanis Nayu 27 Jul 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

He needs to get off his arse and beat my time up Burton Dassett hill, the slacker😂 I need to get screenshotting!

In reply to summo:

Very much so.  Strava nearly ruined cycling for me. Loved it to start with, but after about 6 years, realised riding had stopped being fun

Post edited at 14:38
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

That’s actually close-ish to me. I might ride over to take a look. I’m not sure I could manage to do it in less than a minute though to take the KOM (In fact I know I couldn’t). 

I try not to do efforts up sections pros have raced through - too depressing.

P.S. If that’s you with the KOM, bravo!

 Yanis Nayu 27 Jul 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

It most certainly is not!

In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Would seem the Japanese officials really don't like Dutch cyclists, of any discipline. 

 GrahamD 27 Jul 2021
In reply to summo:

That was an odd turn .  I presume practice time is strictly rationed and a jobsworth was on the case.

In reply to GrahamD:

Yeah I assume so, but can you imagine any of the officials challenging the men like that? I certainly can’t. Poor form by the organisers.

 bridgstarr 27 Jul 2021
In reply to balmybaldwin:

100% this for me. I've just had 6 months off and only just getting back into it. It became a pathetic competition with no value. I've recalibrated and started to enjoy cycling again.

edit: I'm not against strava at all, but when putting up KOMs became the driving force for getting on the bike, it was time for a rethink. I was using it in the wrong way

Post edited at 19:23
 Fredt 28 Jul 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

> That was an odd turn .  I presume practice time is strictly rationed and a jobsworth was on the case.

What happened?

 GrahamD 28 Jul 2021
In reply to Fredt:

Anna Van Der Breggan was either blocked or pulled from her bike during practice (depending on which report you read).

I suspect Van Vleuten was so stoked after the road race cock up she wasn't going to be beaten today.

 BelleVedere 28 Jul 2021
In reply to Marek:

> I find it hard to believe that anyone (with two brain cells to rub together) would go into sport in order to make money (as opposed to because they love it). 

? Sport has long offered working class communities a route to earn a living - and probably a better choice than the army.  I'd like it if people did have more choices, but for some it's fine for sport to be a job. 


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