Tour TT Results -Give Cadel the Information

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I thought the TT was super interesting last Saturday. Being there, it was fun watching it on a split screen on French TV. Like I posted before, I can’t believe how badly that both the Schlecks rode the TT. Not that their individual results were terrible, both finishing in the top 20 of the stage. It was that neither had preridden the course and how badly they set up for the corners and how they handled their bikes over the speed humps. It was like they had never ridden a TT bicycle in their lives.

Cadel on the other had looked very aggressive. Why I’ve been thinking about this so much is that at the BMC party, Cadel made a little speech and said something about how enjoyable the last 4 km of the TT were. He said he knew the times and felt no pain. But he said that he wasn’t given the times to Tony Martin and implied that maybe he should have be told that he was so close to winning instead of being told to take it easy.

Cadel was only 2 seconds behind Martin with just 3 or so km’s to go. Watching the race, I was thinking that he would win, since he was 21 seconds (???) off at the first time check. So, he was going much faster the end.

It sort of bothered me that he wasn’t given the split to Martin at the end and was instead told to relax some. But, I’m not sure I’m correct in this thought. Winning the overall is obviously the most important result. But giving up the stage to minimize a risk that is nearly nonexistent seemed sort of chickenshit. Not by Cadel, but the other end of the radio. I think he should have been given the split and he could decide himself how to ride the last 2 miles. He rode the race in the rain during the Dauphiné last month and didn’t fall. It was dry on Saturday. When you’re only 2 seconds behind that close to the finish, I say that you should try to win the stage and the race. But that is just me. Who am I to question BMC Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue?

I could hear it in Cadel’s voice that he would have loved to win that stage. But he really didn’t get the chance in the end. Like I said above, I’m not 100% positive about this view. I don’t want Cadel to be a ball hog and spreading the wealth is admirable, but that applies more to mountain top finishes, etc. and not to individual time trials.

Maybe I’ll get some good comments here that will help me form a less wishy-washy opinion. I’m kind of jet lagged and not thinking that well in general.

Rode nearly, I state again, nearly, the perfect time trial.

23 thoughts on “Tour TT Results -Give Cadel the Information

  1. Ken

    They should have gone for the stage win. That would have been an emphatic statement for winning the Tour de France. Fortunately he already won stage 4, but winning that stage and the Tour would have been the icing on the cake. No gifts.

  2. bob

    i think the rider should be allowed to decide. Give the time check, “1 minute ahead of Andy 2 seconds bedhind the leader….” If someone is truly on the rivet and in danger of blowing they will not chase a stage win and risk blowing up totally and lose the overall.
    but chances are Cadel was not close to blowing and should have been given the chance to win.
    Either way it should have been the riders call, the riders should be respected enough to be given leeway to make decisions instead of treated like low level employees

  3. Julie Bogacki-Davis

    I don’t ever remember feeling good in a time trial, beginning, middle, or end! I’ve always believed in finishing a race hard.

  4. Jonny Bold

    Go for the win, by all means. I understand the concept of sharing the wealth, but I’d never want a win given to me. Thats almost patronizing and certainly empty.
    The Schlecks preparation was on par with their effort to win LBL against Gilbert…..feeble.

  5. Kory

    I agree completely: amazed by how badly the Schleck’s raced the course and Cadel should have gone for the win. Perhaps another reason to loose the race radio! Let the racers ride their own race.

  6. Ted Lewandowski

    Evans should have rode the ITT like Lemond did in 1989 – without getting any split times – then he would have given it a bit more and easily beat Martin (as Evans had the best form of any rider). Winning the last time trial would have shown he is worthy to wear yellow and be a TdF winner – by backing off – it took a little glimmer off the winning overall – not much – but still a measurable amount – that is my opinion.

  7. Ted Lewandowski

    1989 Tour de France final ITT – no one will ever beat this ride by Lemond – this is how to win the TdF!!!

  8. Scott Anderson

    I thought for sure that Cadel was going for the win when I heard that he was just 2 seconds off of Martin’s time, but when he finished I thought he had to have eased off a bit, which seemed kind of strange given that he was so close. I guess I am of the same opinion as most, give him the information and let him decide whether to act on it.

  9. Fergie

    Yes, I agree that Cadel should have been given the split and the option to go for the Stage win. It was such a pleasure to watch a rider so “on”. He was riding that TT like it was his weekly training loop..he knew every inch and where to set up/how hot for every turn I saw. My opinion of Evans is that he is very calculated in all aspects of his craft. On Saturday, and he was so “on” technically”, he had room to spare to push it out, even if that meant relaxing a little more in the final turns to go right to/over his limit in the final approaches to the line.

    Now, with that said, if I was the director of a rider of Shelck’s cornering ablity and the said rider had secured enough time for the GC overall and was out of the Stage win by a few seconds, Yes, as a director, it would be in the best interest to withhold splits and not to plant the seed of taking more risk.

  10. Mark

    I’m not sure I’m comfortable with Evans implying (if that was what he was doing) that it was his DS’s fault. We’re not robots. Steve, knowing you through your blog, I’d be surprised if you would have done the same thing during such a race.

    That said, Evans was awesome throughout the Tour, and was a most worthy winner. I’m bummed it’s over.

  11. Sean YD

    Having ridden in the team car for time trials (and even driven and directed for them in UCI-level events myself), know that a team director is rarely giving the rider the down-to-the-second, most accurate information. And that’s usually on purpose. So to not give him a split late in the race is pretty par for the course.

  12. WildCat

    On the last (real) day of the tour why leave anything on the table? Finishing the stage being gassed and losing by 2 seconds is one thing, but why leave any in the tank? On the other hand I can kinda understand the broader view on this. Why risk a TDF overall victory, even a little, to capture another stage win. Years from now, no one would remember if he won the stage or not, but certainly everyone will remember his great TT performance and that it sealed the deal to win the 2011 TDF.

  13. shaun wallace

    I too was surprised at how poor the Schlecks’ preparation appeared to be (I bailed on going to Grenoble, opting instead to watch from a bar I know in Annecy. Far less hassle and a better view!).

    I know for some they still don’t consider the TT to be equal to a classic tough Alp stage, but a second is a second and until they do take it seriously I can’t see either sister winning the Tour.

  14. SB

    My favorite part of Cadel’s TT was watching him bunny-hop a little hump at full speed. Skillz.

  15. Franz

    I am doing a time trial in a couple of weeks. I have ridden my time trial bike only once for about 10 miles and I made adjustments after the ride. I would like to ride it again before the time trial but best case scenario is I get out on it only once. Guess I can hope to ride as well as the Schlecks.

  16. AP

    “Start Fast. Finish Fast.”
    You dont need someone on a radio to tell you to go faster during a TT, that is a given.
    Spartacus is on your team and you cant corner very well in a time trial? Strange.

  17. Daniel Russell

    Good call from the team car. The job is to beat Andy and Frank Schleck overall, not Tony Martin in the ITT. Pushing it to also beat Martin and one fall loses the tour overall. Good to see Och win a tour, well deserved.

  18. Mark

    So did Cadel know he was #2 when he crossed the line? If so, that would explain what seemed like a slight shrug and questioning look. He may have been wondering why he wasn’t told he was so close.

  19. Mr.Frack

    I think Cadel is a big boy and knows how to ride his own race. I hope they didn’t tell him to not press it. I have blown up in the last two miles, but I don’t think I slowed more than 10 seconds a mile ever in a TT final 5 k. For the extra glory of winning the last TT and Yellow for the tour to me would be worth the minimal risk.
    If he was cramping in the legs would be the only reason I could think to softer pedal the last 3-4k.

  20. Jim

    Late to the party, maybe someone said this but as you said Cadel was super aggressive. At one point he nearly blew a R hander and was on the pavement’s edge. I see Lelangue’s no-split choice as wise. Before the stage I said all he needed to do is not crash. My view is if Cadel were given the splits he might have pushed to hard in one corner, hit the deck and lost the Tour. We’ve seen other tts by other riders been totally screwed up before.


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