Bicycling - Should the 2009 Tour-De-France Winner Have Followed All Advice to Attack Or Not?
That suggestion was probably true.
After all, he had a sizable lead over his closest competitors.
He is also a great sprinter and climber.
Few can keep up with him when he opens up.
In hindsight then, should this accomplished racer have followed that advice to the tee? About the question.
The basic purpose of bicycle-racing team-management is to produce a tour winner with as many team members included in the process as possible.
Routinely, the shared team duties include setting a pace, drafting for and protecting its lead riders, controlling the the peloton, blocking, chasing, front-lining, keeping tack of the main contenders, and training the newer team members for future events.
Much of this management is tactical.
It is meant to make the overall win a shared well-paced highly thoughtful one in addition to being a strong fast and physically powerful one.
However, this kind of tactical thinking makes one basic assumption - that all else will remain the same for the remainder of the tour.
That kind of assumption is okay from a teamwork point of view.
That is, the team will protect and support its lead riders during that remaining period in the competition.
Yet, unforeseeable bike failures and accidents can and do happen then.
To a degree then, it is up to each rider to know that possibility can occur, and to keep it in mind at all times.
Accidents and time delays.
To illustrate this possibility, a few years back a lead contender was riding well among the top competition when suddenly he and his bike were slammed to the ground.
A young spectator had inadvertently stuck a handbag out in front of his path, catching his handlebars.
The rider graciously took the blame for the accident saying he was riding too close to the crowd at the edge of the road.
Yet, that spill cost him time.
Luckily, he was able to get up and start riding again on the same bike, uninjured.
After he regained his riding composure, he finished that stage like a speeding madman according to the TV announcer then.
He not only made up for his lost time from the spill, he chased down everyone ahead of him including the usual lead breakaway rider, and ended up winning that stage handily.
His Adrenalin-activated decision to attack also set him up to win the tour that year.
In short, beyond their incredible bicycle-racing skills, all of the tour riders must try to foresee potential bottlenecks and time delays, and allow themselves a cushion to offset the unexpected ones.
Such advanced preparation and on-the-spot thinking are a big part of this annual competition.
For more information on bicycle racing, see the following websites.
Amgen Tour of California Bicycling Racing Terminology: A Primerhttp://www.
Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia Road Bicycling Racinghttp://en.