Some more thoughts about Vinokourov and Hincape

I’ve been thinking more about who will lead the Discovery team next year. Obviously for the Discovery team, the consideration isn’t about what’s best for American cycling, it’s about what’s the best use of their advertising dollar and which will get them the most press. But US Postal and now Discovery have been doubly blessed by having an American team lead by an American rider who is winning, and winning big in the biggest race in the sport. A lot of American sponsors have come and gone because they weren’t able to field a winning team or because their wins weren’t being done by an American.

If it came down to having an American rider leading but not winning, or having an non-American rider leading and winning, I don’t think either of those is going to be good for American cycling or Discovery. So I think they’ve got to go with Hincape and hope that in the next two weeks he proves himself capable of leading and winning.

2 thoughts on “Some more thoughts about Vinokourov and Hincape”

  1. Two question about peloton racing.

    I have been loyally watching the Tour for several years and I still don’t understand how it works that a breakaway is pulled back into the chase/ peloton (Is it just by being too tired?)and why don’t CSC, Phonak, T-Mobile, etc. just keep attacking Lance and Discovery and put time between them and the attacking team. Discovery (and more importantly Lance) would have to start losing time at some point wouldn’t they?


  2. Walt, a couple of things are at work here.

    1. A large group can move faster than a small one because there are more people taking turns on the front, so everybody gets more time to “rest” in the wind shadow of the guys up front. That’s how they pull back a break away – they just raise the pace to the point that the break away group can’t go any faster, and wait for the break away to tire.

    2. There really isn’t a chance to the big men of the tour to make time on the other big men on flat stages, because their teams can drag the break away back. That’s why you see the biggest changes in the GC happen on mountain stages where the big men’s teams have mostly dropped away and it’s one on one.

    3. The Discovery Team has huge depth, and they’re not wasting their efforts trying for sprint points, mountain jerseys, team standings, or anything other than helping Lance Armstrong, nor on intra-team rivalry. I think T-Mobile has only managed to make a few good stages because half the time Vinokourov and Kloden and Ullrich are more concerned with beating each other than Discovery. The other teams just don’t have the depth to be attacking day after day after day.

    I’ve got to say Vinokourov is one of the most impressive riders this year. Sure he gets dropped on the big climbs, but he gets it back and goes on the attack on the very next climb. And he’s attacked every day.

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