Special Kiss-of-death Olympic predictions

July 28, 2012

How can Cav not win? That seems to be the question, very similar to last year’s worlds. So naturally, a lot of the same logic applies, see in particular the piece “Cyclists are losers“, it’s worth another read in my humble opinion.

So what will happen? I’m looking closely for four things:

  1. Even though many more teams speak of following the “chaos therapy” I described in “Cyclists are losers“, I am afraid that when push comes to shove, not many will follow through.
  2. The key to a successful break-away will be size (you need to be considerably bigger than the team of four GB time trialers trying to catch you). This however goes against the other key, which is a very fast decision to go for it once you have gapped Cav the tiniest bit, as you won’t get much more. So is it possible for a group of 20 riders of 15 different countries to look around quickly and determine to work together and go for it? Given that most riders haven’t taken independent racing decisions in years due to the ear pieces, I am skeptical.
  3. If there is a break, I think GB should send a rider along. Catching 20 riders back with a team of 4 won’t be easy, whereas Wiggins sitting in a group of 20 without doing any work (waiting for Cav) and then placing a jump in the last 10k, I’m not sure who would catch him. I somehow suspect that’s also GB’s plan, I can’t imagine that their plan is really as was spelled out by Brailsford (“Plan A is Cav, and the rest of the alphabet too”).
  4. Crashes could have a big influence on the outcome, I don’t hear that much about this possibility but how many teams have a plan for what to do in a crash?

So my picks would be Cancellara for the pure chaos strategy, Wiggins for chaos if GB does have a different plan Z, and Cav if all else fails.

15 Responses to “Special Kiss-of-death Olympic predictions”

  1. Jan Says:

    Gerard, what about “buying riders”?

    That happens, so why not today buy a few domestiques for GB?

  2. Rob Younis Says:

    Ahh, the Kiss-of-Death prevails. Wiggins & Cav mentioned by name and played no part in the final outcome. Cancellara, mentioned in the same sentence as the word “chaos” and he experienced just that with a crash while in the winning break away group.

  3. Thomas Says:

    So, Vino wins. You failed in your predictions to take into account the “bag of gold for the Gold” theory.


    • Well, I think the chaos theory came pretty close, wih 20 riders and a tiny ap that requires quick cooperation. And then it looked good for my chaos favorite Cancellara, until of course he crashed out (I didn’t expect that crash part of my prediction to affect the best bike handler in the peloton though).

  4. John Tiffany Says:

    I think you covered it in ’3′. There should have been a plan ‘B’. Non of the sprinters teams were ever going to help just to come second. They did not even manage that though so they needed a plan ‘B’ too. It all just let the opportunists in and one of the biggest won. Not keen on him but but he took his chance well so kudos to him.

  5. Evan Shaw Says:

    Although I stand for due process especially for those we most suspect, I SIMPLY CANNOT BELIEVE THAT VINO IS AT HIS AGE AND AFTER INJURIES AND WITH A METAL PLATE IN HIS FEMUR ABLE TO BEAT ALL THE OTHERS AND WIN GOLD. AND FOR ME HAVING DOPED AT THE LEVEL HE DID WITH EPO AT THE TOUR, HE SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO RACE AGAIN.

    Sorry, I just think it is horrid that he races in the olympics and is likely cheating again and he profits. Other great talents cannot match his endurance recovery and speed. C’mon.

    • One Correction Says:

      Just a point of correction: Vino did not get caught for EPO in 2007 (homologous blood doping; the use of blood from someone else) nor has he admitted to using any doping products. This does not mean that he didn’t dope, just that he hasn’t been caught for EPO use. Just like David Millar, he has served his time and was allowed to race. The same for Valverde, Basso, etc.

      I don’t condone doping at all, but you need proof. Maybe even the most vocal of anti-doping advocates are doping. It would be a great cover, wouldn’t it?

      • Evan Shaw Says:

        Do we allow bank presidents who embezzle money to resume being bank presidents again? Why does someone who cheats, denies it, never atones in any way for it, is allowed back to cheat again and then be given entry into the olympics? Just a mockery. And for what purpose, and in all sport, not just cycling. The answer I feel it that the purpose of sports is complex, social, political, nationalism, race, class and power. As a researcher and social scientist I know that we all are complicit in these events to differing degrees. All hail Vino the cheat. NOT.

        • Marcello Says:

          Many countries don’t allow dopers on the national team. Too bad Kazakstan doesn’t follow that policy.

  6. John S Says:

    Was disappointed that Cav apparently blamed the Aussies: for racing negatively. The GB team could equally be accused of: being “one trick ponies”/lacking a plan C or B for that matter.

    • Anonymous Says:

      I think his comments were slightly overplayed in the reporting. The way I read it wasn’t as criticism, just an explanation of why he didn’t win. He also said GB had been expecting it, I think.


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