Ineos Tour tactics ***SPOILERS***

No_Ta_Doctor
No_Ta_Doctor Posts: 13,460
Before stage 1, Ineos were claiming they'd bring aggressive racing, with 4 potential contenders, and the mountain train was over. Others assumed their packed lineup was still the standard financially-doped mountain train of old.

But with Porte held up for 2'30" and Tao for 5'30", their multiple threat strategy looks blown out of the water. It's now assumed that Richie and Tao drop into full domestique mode.

Personally I don't think they'll win the tour like that, and I don't see it happening. Jumbo got banged up pretty badly in the first crash, and Pogacar has shown he can surf other tesms' trains. The multiple threat strategy was the best chance of success - keep throwing riders up the road until something sticks/Roglic & Pogacar are isolated.

I think this could still be salvaged. They won't chase Tao at 5'30", so a long range attack could bring him back into play. It's the sort of racing he likes as well. Porte could also be allowed to go a couple of km from a summit, we've already seen Pog/Rog marking each other on a cat 3 finish!

Meanwhile, if Jumbo aren't in good shape then Roglic might find it a lot harder to bank all those bonus seconds.

Tao should probably be having a chat with a couple of the other GC leaders who dropped time yesterday....
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Comments

  • Lanterne_Rogue
    Lanterne_Rogue Posts: 4,091
    If you fire TGH or Porte up the road they're still there to be bridged across to so can't be ignored. Shame the first week is so flat, because otherwise Ineos could have really caused problems for JV trying to cover everything (assuming there's a few sore bodies).

    The other thing that sticks in my mind is that they won the Giro with TGH by firing riders off the front seemingly every day, and whilst everyone was busy watching that, TGH stealthed his way upwards without being perceived as a major threat - right until he was. I'd expect people to be a bit more switched on about the threat of Thomas and Carapaz, but a bit of the circus routine might create enough of a distraction that they're not taken seriously enough.

    Agree too that the mountain train tactic is more or less useless for Ineos right now, unless one of their riders is demonstrably better than everyone else. Otherwise you're riding for second - at best - that way.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 41,088
    They still have 2 genuine contenders, I'm not sure playing 4 cards was ever going to work. Porte can certainly still go on a long one in the mountains though and create some panic. TGH possibly far enough back to go in a break, wasn't he a similar distance back when he went on to win the Giro? They can definitely still make others commit resources to chasing.
  • blazing_saddles
    blazing_saddles Posts: 21,922
    Porte needs a stellar ITT, then he could be back in the GC threat game.
    Perhaps being in a betwixt and between position might sow a bit of confusion among the Slovenian teams.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • No_Ta_Doctor
    No_Ta_Doctor Posts: 13,460
    Looks like Ineos have a different game plan than my suggestion, they should definitely hire me as DS.

    Tao managed to lose another big chunk of time - almost 4 minutes - between doing a load of work at the foot of the final climb and crossing it about 2 km later. He's now nearly 10 minutes back.

    Maybe he's now trying to drop time to be allowed up the road?
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  • gsk82
    gsk82 Posts: 3,479
    They've certainly been a shit show in the first 2 days.
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 41,088

    Looks like Ineos have a different game plan than my suggestion, they should definitely hire me as DS.

    Tao managed to lose another big chunk of time - almost 4 minutes - between doing a load of work at the foot of the final climb and crossing it about 2 km later. He's now nearly 10 minutes back.

    Maybe he's now trying to drop time to be allowed up the road?

    TGH looked to be struggling to keep with the rest of the team yesterday. A few times he had to take a trip through the bunch to get back to his position.
  • No_Ta_Doctor
    No_Ta_Doctor Posts: 13,460
    I don't think they had the first two days targeted tbh, and the time drop for Ritchie and Tao on the first day was pretty much unavoidable. They'll be OK with Geraint and Carapaz losing a few seconds if Pog & Rog are making efforts already. They'd probably be hoping one of them has to defend yellow from early on.
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  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,172
    Anyone else think a Thomas on Tour winning form would not have lost time on Sunday?
  • takethehighroad
    takethehighroad Posts: 6,683
    According to Ned yesterday, he knew he could win on MdB in 2018 but held back in order to keep his energy for later in the race
  • No_Ta_Doctor
    No_Ta_Doctor Posts: 13,460
    It's too early to call if dropping a few seconds is form or tactics. I think we'll get a better picture after the TT. On form he should be able to compete with Pog & Rog there. If he doesn't go well then I think he's done.
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  • roscoe
    roscoe Posts: 470
    If G doesn’t show up well at the TT, it’ll be all in for Carapaz attacking like crazy.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,172
    edited June 2021

    It's too early to call if dropping a few seconds is form or tactics. I think we'll get a better picture after the TT. On form he should be able to compete with Pog & Rog there. If he doesn't go well then I think he's done.

    Dropping a few seconds isn't tactics, surely. Either you have the legs to follow or you don't.
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,521

    According to Ned yesterday, he knew he could win on MdB in 2018 but held back in order to keep his energy for later in the race

    Difference is surely that in 2018 he came 9th on that stage, 3 seconds off the winner, having lost no time to anyone.
  • No_Ta_Doctor
    No_Ta_Doctor Posts: 13,460

    It's too early to call if dropping a few seconds is form or tactics. I think we'll get a better picture after the TT. On form he should be able to compete with Pog & Rog there. If he doesn't go well then I think he's done.

    Dropping a few seconds isn't tactics, surely. Either you have the legs to follow or you don't.
    Keeping your powder dry is tactics. 17" is a little expensive, but being in shape and in touch in the third week is what counts.
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  • blazing_saddles
    blazing_saddles Posts: 21,922
    For sure it wasn't a performance that inspired me with confidence.
    Having said that, this Tour looks even more about the last week, than usual.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,172
    Carapaz put in a decent TT in the Dauphine (wasn't it? or suisse) earlier so I wouldn't rule him out on the basis of the TTs - my suspicion is that he is the main man there.
  • amrushton
    amrushton Posts: 1,254
    only tactic is to be near the Slovenians at the finish. Roglic/Pogace are mopping up bonus seconds, thats what they do- it's 'free' time. if one has a bad day then that's good for the others but really the leaders need to be in the front finishing on the same time. Obvious but true.
  • Lanterne_Rogue
    Lanterne_Rogue Posts: 4,091

    Anyone else think a Thomas on Tour winning form would not have lost time on Sunday?

    A handful of seconds behind a small split or whatever, sure. Not that sort of gap. It opened up more on the flatter section, too, which hardly suggests it'll suddenly come right in the TT. It might do still - it's also about aero and the ability to hold that position - but there's not been much positive evidence for Thomas having the necessary form at the moment.
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    Thing is, they've been doing this over the past few GTs then suddenly with a week to go pull a huge effort together and someone drops into yellow/pink/whatever.

    they're too slick to write off to early
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,172
    17s nowadays is material.

  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,761
    There's the theory they like to come into the Tour slightly off peak form - slightly over ideal climbing weight. Hard to know the extent to which that is real and how far it's myth, misinformation or PR after a slow start.

    I tend to agree with the posts above though - if you've got the legs to follow you follow and Geraint Thomas doesn't look the Thomas of a few years ago.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 20,802

    17s nowadays is material.

    Isn't this just an extension of your prologue theory which no one agrees with?
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,172

    17s nowadays is material.

    Isn't this just an extension of your prologue theory which no one agrees with?
    Friebe agrees with it, FWIW. And yes, it probably is.

    Though if Rog finished 17s ahead of Pog in a MTF we'd be calling it Rog's to lose.
  • andyp
    andyp Posts: 10,171
    I'm on #teamrick here, the trend for winning margins in GTs is downwards, so seconds count nowadays. Thomas was perfectly positioned at the foot of the climb so clearly didn't have the legs when it mattered. That's a concern and doesn't bode well for his overall chances.

    He did say after the first stage that he finds the intense efforts needed difficult in the first few days after he's backed off and rested up in the weeks leading into the race, so it might just be that. But he needs to put in a very strong TT if he is going to be in the mix for the win.
  • RichN95.
    RichN95. Posts: 27,187
    There have been cases in the past were two riders have focused on each other so intently that they have neglected to act when a third goes up the road. Perhaps this is something that could be exploited.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 41,088
    It's the issue on these types of finishes, the peloton gets spread out so that 1 second actual gap to the wheel in front becomes quite substantial on the GC. I would say it's not the sort of climb that suits Geraint but to answer Rick's question about if he were on Tour winning form, from memory of 2018 he was highly placed on the same finish. That said, I still think Pogacar and Roglic have slight question marks on how well they will manage in the high mountains if put under pressure by a (Tour winning form) Thomas and Carapaz.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 41,088
    RichN95. said:

    There have been cases in the past were two riders have focused on each other so intently that they have neglected to act when a third goes up the road. Perhaps this is something that could be exploited.

    I was thinking that over the weekend (especially Saturday), more likely to happen if they have a bit of a gap on others too.
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,521
    edited June 2021
    Pross said:

    It's the issue on these types of finishes, the peloton gets spread out so that 1 second actual gap to the wheel in front becomes quite substantial on the GC. I would say it's not the sort of climb that suits Geraint but to answer Rick's question about if he were on Tour winning form, from memory of 2018 he was highly placed on the same finish. That said, I still think Pogacar and Roglic have slight question marks on how well they will manage in the high mountains if put under pressure by a (Tour winning form) Thomas and Carapaz.

    That's a potential issue, but in this case, here's when Colbrelli crossed the line in 27th place, with Thomas in 28th indicated with a red arrow.


  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,761

    17s nowadays is material.

    Isn't this just an extension of your prologue theory which no one agrees with?
    Friebe agrees with it, FWIW. And yes, it probably is.

    Though if Rog finished 17s ahead of Pog in a MTF we'd be calling it Rog's to lose.

    Can someone refresh me as to what Rick's prologue theory is please ?
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  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,761

    Pross said:

    It's the issue on these types of finishes, the peloton gets spread out so that 1 second actual gap to the wheel in front becomes quite substantial on the GC. I would say it's not the sort of climb that suits Geraint but to answer Rick's question about if he were on Tour winning form, from memory of 2018 he was highly placed on the same finish. That said, I still think Pogacar and Roglic have slight question marks on how well they will manage in the high mountains if put under pressure by a (Tour winning form) Thomas and Carapaz.

    That's a potential issue, but in this case, here's when Colbrelli crossed the line in 27th place, with Thomas in 28th indicated with a red arrow.



    Also Thomas went into the climb in a great position - so he's not just been caught behind gaps
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]