Perfect tactics, no legs

April 3, 2011

Watching the Ronde today of course the conclusion has to be that Garmin-Cervelo didn’t play a role in the final. So where did it go wrong? It’s strange because when you analyze the race, they did almost everything right. They had a guy in the early break, they have two guys in the break of 19, and they were very well organized to stay out of trouble on the stretches where disaster usually strikes (Oude Kwaremont, Koppenberg, etc). So I think they executed the plan to near-perfection. And yet they didn’t play a role. Like Klier says. In the end it’s a primitive sport, and the legs decide. I can’t say I’m too concerned.

If there is a tactical comment to be made, it’s that the group of 19 should have stayed away, though it seemed that at least the Garmin-Cervelo riders and some others worked to make that happen. I don’t understand why some other teams didn’t invest in that break as they had 30 seconds and really EVERY team represented had a good reason (Cancellara) to work, and even everybody behind who was not represented in the group had a reason (Cancellara) not to work. Why this didn’t happen I will never understand.

That said, this was one hell of a Ronde, very exciting to watch. A great trio on the podium plus the fans a clear winner too. And yes, Cancellara didn’t win (though his early riding and maddening tactics of the other teams definitely made me sweat about my prediction). As he said afterwards, the pressure and the nervousness of the race got to him a bit and he didn’t drink enough, causing cramps.

The good news is that next week’s Paris-Roubaix promises to be a great race. So many potential winners, and after today no clear favorite. That should suit Cancellara, if he starts.

Let me know if you agree or disagree (I have a hunch a good few will disagree) in the comments below or via Twitter (@gerardvroomen).

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