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Date Posted: 14:13:35 08/28/04 Sat
Author: Pedallo
Subject: Re: WTF happened to USPS today?
In reply to: ChrisH 's message, "Re: WTF happened to USPS today?" on 13:48:11 08/28/04 Sat

>>*****No that is where team tactics are of the highest
>>importance - a combination of getting the leader to
>>the final climb in the best possible shape , and
>>helping him for as long as possible - having a rider
>>up the road as a stepping stone etc etc
>I disagree. That's where individual strength is of the
>highest importance. For example, ONCE did all of the
>above for Olano in the 1999 Tour yet he still lost
>several minutes in each mountain stage.

well of course the team leader must have some strenght - but look at the work Piepoli, for instance, has done over the years virtually dragging his captain to the top of finishing climbs. Look at Voeckler in this years TdF when Chavanel took up the early running and then dropped back to help his Captain towards the final two climbs. Think about, say , the work the De Nardi team did for Honchar in this years Giro.
Why do you think Armstrong has spent a fortune over the years hiring guys like Heras, Beltran, Rubiera and other good mountain men. It is not for show. It is so he can be delivered up to the final few kilometres in the best possible shape. He doesn't have to go back for water bottles etc and with such a strong team he can ditacte the pace that he wants.
Part of the reason Armstrong is so strong in the final kilometres of mountain is because he has had the best possible support throughout the previous 160 kilometres or so.
The teams support in mountain stages is invaluable because of the nature of climbs and support vehicles. When Hamilton crashed in last years Giro on the descent - Sastre had been able to keep up with him and give him his bike. Had Sastre not been there Hamilton would have had to wait for many minutes for a new bike - race over.
Good mountain men earn a lot more than Rouleurs - that is how important a strong team in the mountains is.

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