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I am trying to figure out the ins and outs of tactics in the peloton... In the TdG, it seemed that McCartney was so stinkin' strong, he could've gone for GC...is Tom D really stronger than him? Was the point of McCartney taking all the flyers to make the other teams chase so that Tom D can just sit on and let everyone else work?...
 

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I did not follow the TdG closely over th eweekend but after reading your question I took a look at the results.

McCartney was not on the RADAR for the overall. He did win the KoM jersey. Was he just going on a long solo ride to gobble up KoM points?

There are a few reasons why teams would send a rider up the road.

1. You put a rider in the break to ensure the team is representated in case the break succeeds to the finish.
2. If the break is destined to fail, this rider will stop working for the break and rest. He will wait to be caught by the GC group and then continue to help his team leader after giving his legs a rest.
3. You put a rider in the break but do no work. In this case, the tactic is to take a free ride ahead of the GC group. The rider does not work in the break and just sits on. Later in the race he waits for his team leader to offer support.
4. You put a rider up the road to gobble up points and time bonuses. When contenders are very close in the overall (or other jerseys), the team will send a relative unknown up the road to eat up the bonuses. That keeps other riders from getting the bonuses and improving their position. Intermediate sprint bonuses are only offer to the top 3. By the time the main group gets to the intermediate sprints, the points and bonuses have already been awarded to breakaway riders.
5. The rider may be looking for KoM or Sprint bonuses for himself. On a mountainous stage, a solo breakaway rider can get a huge lead in the KoM competition.
6. Don't forget the team competition.

There are endless variables for other tactics too. That's what makes the races so much fun to watch. Trying to figure out why riders are doing certain things keeps it interesting until the finish.
 

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the GC was essentially settled after the time trial. while mcCartney rode a solid TT, he still dropped over 90 seconds to landis and danielson. at that point, discovery's best shot at the GC win was danielson. so send mcCartney off the front, and make phonak work to chase him down. mcCartney proved himself a threat on the road alone there last year, and he's not too far down in the GC, so phonak won't be able to just let him go. hopefully this will tire phonak and eventually leave landis isolated. it almost worked. but landis stayed strong on brasstown.

alpka said:
I am trying to figure out the ins and outs of tactics in the peloton... In the TdG, it seemed that McCartney was so stinkin' strong, he could've gone for GC...is Tom D really stronger than him? Was the point of McCartney taking all the flyers to make the other teams chase so that Tom D can just sit on and let everyone else work?...
 
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