On Saturday, Garmin-Cervelo’s Spring Classics season was dubbed a failure, 24h later they appear one of the big winners. What a difference a day makes.
So, does this mean the results are now the only thing that matter (which I had answered negatively in this blog)? Of course during a race the result is what matters, but afterwards, it makes more sense to evaluate the process. Even if you win.
Personally, I think the team rode the strongest race tactically in Flanders, but that wasn’t very visible. In Roubaix the tactics were very complicated (they usually are because there are so many small groups and the situation is so fluid). It’s impossible to get all the calls right, but as long as the majority of the tactical calls are correct you’ll be OK. And the one crucial call that had to be made was made and Johan jumped clear of his group while Thor demoralized the group of the big favorites. If Johan had finished second instead of first, would the evaluation of the team’s tactics have to be diametrically opposite of what it is now? Of course not.
Speaking with Thor, Gabba and a few of the other riders afterwards, you realize just how strong they all were and how much they sacrificed their own chances for the team’s success. In fact, hearing from them how strong they felt really increased my admiration for them even more. In a way, the winner has it easy.