Monday, July 16, 2012

There are time outs in cycling just not because everyone is attacking and it's hard.

The last two stages of the Tour have found the big mighty Team Sky calling for a time out. Although there is really no such thing there are times to back off the pace.

First was yesterdays stage where many riders punctured because of tacs that were placed on the course. Not only was this a very dangerous situation as riders found themselves getting punctures on a fast decent, but it left may scrambling to find a spare wheel. Sky quickly gathered information on what was going on and called a 'timeout' to allow those who had the misfortune to puncture to no fault of their own to catch back on. This is great sportsmanship and what goes around comes around.

Today's stage was a different scenario. The race started off fast and many riders found themselves trying to get into the early breakaway. After the breaks have found some success over the past few days I'd imagine many teams saw this as their opportunity at a stage win. After the first hour of full on racing the break had yet to be established and the peloton was getting tired. Team Sky was starting to get upset as they wanted a break to go so they could just sit back, rest up and ride at a softer pace. Two Sky riders at separate occasions tried to call a timeout to let the breaks go, but nobody wanted to miss out so it would keep coming back. After nearly 2hrs of full on racing the break finally got away and for all their hard work were awarded the days top prizes.

I say good for those that kept attacking and for the teams that wouldn't stop till they got what they wanted as well. There is no reason to stop racing because the leaders team wants you to. They have a different objective in the race then the others and there is no reason to follow theirs. They have the yellow jersey, second overall, and already a couple of stage victories, some teams have nothing yet and saw this as an opportunity and took it.

I've been in races before with the same situation before. It really only happens in stage races with an overall leader and team wants the action to slow down, especially at big events like Tour of Missouri and California when the Pro Tour Teams want it to stop, but the smaller teams are fighting for just that little bit of glory. I remember a stage in Missouri where it went on and on and  Levi was getting angry. He actually swerved at someone trying to continue the action. Then in California I remember the big teams making fun and hollering at anyone trying to get across to the break when they decided it was over.

This is part of the reason I miss Belgium Kermesse racing. Everyone has teammates in the race, but you really wouldn't know by racing it. It is just full gas for 120+km's. Even if a teammate is up the road in a break everyone else is going to continue to try to get up there. In the US I find it that a break of 8-12 guys can get up the road and everyone, I mean everyone stops racing and is content on letting it get 10+minutes and then racing the last 2km's. Ok let the break get their time, but then race on. But of course as soon as you do that there will be those guys that start hollering and heckling.

Of course maybe it's just me or riders like me who like to shut their minds off and just ride hard. No tactics involved. I feel good I must ATTACK!

Breeze On

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