15e etape: Et encore, avec des SPOILERS

Discussion in 'General Cycling' started by Simon Brooke, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    Whoops! Bagsy me not be the spanner monkey tonight...

    Seriously, though, what a moment to unship a chain. It clearly jammed -
    you can see his feet stop rotating and his whole body lurch forward.

    According to this photo http://goo.gl/AHi3 (don't look if you don't want
    to know who's chain it was) he does normally ride with a chain catcher,
    so it's hard to believe it unshipped on the inside. Also, although I
    didn't see whether he was changing gear, from the way he was riding I'd
    guess he may have been changing up onto the big ring.

    Thoughts? (other than he should have used Campagnolo, of course, but that
    goes without saying)

    Also, was the opposition right to take advantage of his problem like
    that? Was it sporting?

    Simon Brooke, Jul 19, 2010
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  2. Simon Brooke

    Simon Mason Guest

    I think from all of the booing in the crowd, Bertie Boy's behaviour did not
    go down well. Doing his pistol gesture on the podium only added to the
    bitter taste.
    Simon Mason, Jul 19, 2010
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  3. Simon Brooke

    Roger Thorpe Guest

    Trying to be charitable, I wondered if he (bertie) lacks the kind of
    authority that others might have used to make the other contenders in
    the group wait.
    I think that I know who I'll be wanting to see in yellow on the

    Standing on a golf course, dressed in PVC.....
    Roger Thorpe, Jul 19, 2010
  4. Simon Brooke

    Ben C Guest

    Maybe although it was about 10% at that point.
    It wasn't wrong but it wasn't sporting.

    I reckon he should have sat up especially because he didn't need the
    seconds on any of the other people he was with.
    Ben C, Jul 19, 2010
  5. Simon Brooke

    Danny Colyer Guest

    As I was leaving the office this evening our receptionist, who follows
    Le Tour online during the afternoon, said to me: "Schleck lost the lead
    today. Chain came off".

    Bastard. I've a feeling his computer might develop some kind of
    mysterious ailment tomorrow.
    To me it was clearly unsporting behaviour. As Phil Liggett pointed out,
    though, Contador was responding to what Menchov and Sanchez were doing,
    not just taking advantage of Schleck's misfortune. It would probably
    have been unrealistic for him to have waited while Menchov and Sanchez
    Danny Colyer, Jul 19, 2010
  6. Simon Brooke

    Paul Rudin Guest

    In commentary on Eurosport they seemed to think he was changing onto the
    big ring.
    The general consensus seems to be that it was poor sportsmanship to
    attack then. If others had pushed on then it would have been fair enough
    to go with them - but he was the one that forced the pace. He wasn't
    actually keeping up with Schleck's attack until the mechanical problem.
    Paul Rudin, Jul 20, 2010
  7. Simon Brooke

    bugbear Guest

    Sporting or not, for the result of the tour to
    be a result of "a mechnical" would be sad.

    bugbear, Jul 20, 2010
  8. In
    That would make more sense that it coming off on the inside as he managed to
    get it back on fairly quickly, even if he didn't quite get it right first
    time. IME chains coming off on the inside can require a Several of minutes
    of tugging and swearing before they come free.
    Dave Larrington, Jul 20, 2010
  9. Simon Brooke

    nmm1 Guest

    In my experience, it takes more than several minutes, and the use of
    a jemmy :-( Admittedly, that was the result of the damn thing coming
    off when I was accelerating hard, so there was a good 600 pounds
    weight jamming that chain in ....

    Nick Maclaren.
    nmm1, Jul 20, 2010
  10. Simon Brooke

    Nigel Cliffe Guest

    Unsporting in my view, and as Contador was ahead of Menchov/Sanchez at the
    time he passed Schleck, a decision to sit up and wait would have been
    obvious to Menchov/Sanchez.
    Had Menchov/Sanchez charged passed and not sat-up, then Contador could have
    gone ahead again to defend his position and stayed within the "acceptable"
    bounds on my sporting-ethics scale.

    I'm reminded of Ulrich sitting up when told of Armstrong falling when his
    bike tangled with a spectator's bag. Ulrich probably lost a tour victory
    chance by that example of sportsmanship.

    - Nigel
    Nigel Cliffe, Jul 20, 2010
  11. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    OK, mixed feelings.

    Firstly prejudice: I don't know whether Contador personally engages in
    pharmacological enhancement, but he has associated throughout his career
    with people who do (Liberty Seguros, Discovery Channel, Astana). And in
    these days of (apparently) (relatively) clean cycling that's a bit

    On the other side, Mr 60% did engage in doping and has admitted it, but
    that was back in the days when everyone did; over the past few years he's
    gone to great lengths to prove that his team is clean. Andy signed for
    the team when he was 18 and hasn't ever worked for anyone else. So I
    think you can be as certain that Andy is clean as anyone in the sport.

    Secondly, the gentlemanly gesture. When Armstrong was brought down by the
    handbag strap, Ullrich slowed and allowed Armstrong to recover (only to
    be blown out of the back door with Armstrong's inimitable grace). We all
    like to see those chivalrous moments in racing.

    But, they are racing. There is an enormous personal prize. One of them -
    only one - will be in yellow on the Champs Elysee, and that one will earn
    rewards which are far more than merely financial. Andy Schleck is faster
    uphill, for longer, this year, than Contador. We all believe that
    Contador is still faster in a time trial, but although Luxembourg is a
    very small country it isn't a very small cycling country, and Andy is the
    Luxembourg time trial champion. Is Contador prepared to bet that he can
    out-time-trial Andy? Clearly he isn't. Clearly Contador thought that
    today represented his best chance to win the Tour.

    He would have risen greatly in my estimation had he waited. But I don't
    think he 'should' have waited. It would have been a graceful, a
    chivalrous, a sporting, an admirable gesture, but there's a very good
    chance that, like Jan Ullrich on Luz Ardiden, he could have given away
    his chance of winning. And that's a very big ask.

    And Andy? His tired troops get two days rest. They don't have to defend
    his jersey. He should not attack tomorrow, in my opinion, because he
    could waste a lot of energy and anyone who's dropped on the climb has 60
    kilometres descent - over an hour's racing, probably nearer an hour and a
    quarter - to get back on. Burning energy tomorrow is high risk. But Andy
    can climb away from Contador on the Tourmalet on Thursday, and by now
    both of them know it. His tactics will have to be right - it isn't
    inevitable - but in the car behind he has the best tactician in the game.

    Andy can still win this, and Contador knows it.
    Simon Brooke, Jul 20, 2010
  12. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    Having watched the video again he clearly sweeps his left shift lever
    immediately before the jam, so he was changing up; so the ITV4 commentary
    (by Chris Boardman, who should know better) that a missing chain watcher
    is implicated is just wrong.

    He was riding at pretty much full gas while shifting, and obviously the
    ramps-and-pins on his big ring weren't sufficient to lift the chain under
    that load.

    SRAM Red groupset, guys. The cranks are Specialized own-brand, but the
    rings are SRAM. At least Franck Schleck and Cancellara have been riding
    with SRM spiders, but Andy Schleck wasn't using one yesterday - this photo


    clearly shows the standard Specialized cast aluminium spider. But he did
    use one for stage two, see this photo:


    (incidentally, look at his chain in that photo!)

    Probably the SRM kit was taken off to lighten the bike for the mountains.
    In any case it isn't implicated in the chain jam incident. The lesson?
    Stick to Campagnolo. You know it makes sense.

    [Re: Contador]
    I honestly don't think he can. And more to the point I don't think he
    thinks he can. Which makes his continuing to attack more understandable.
    Simon Brooke, Jul 20, 2010
  13. Maybe I'm naive (I've never been in a cycle race in my life) - but I can't
    see why this is unsporting. It's a /cycle/ race between teams on bicycles.
    The teams include mechanics, and no doubt the best mechanics are sought by
    the top teams. In this case a member of the team (probably a mechanic rather
    than Schleck) got something wrong, or possibly there was an equipment
    failure - why is it unsporting to take advantage of that, when it wouldn't
    be unsporting to take advantage if Schleck was just exhausted by the climb?

    cf F1 racing - ISTM the priciple is similar - it's a team sport, although
    probably in F1 the driver is relatively less important that the rider is in
    TdF. If there's a botched pit stop, or a gearbox failure, the other drivers
    aren't expected not to take advantage!
    John Abramson, Jul 20, 2010
  14. Simon Brooke

    Paul - xxx Guest

    The rear wheel lifted too ..
    That's how I saw it, going for the big ring to enhance his break, chain
    came off underneath and jammed the derailleur.
    Damn shame, he was about to fly I reckon.
    At the time it happened C should have sat up a bit and waited, even if
    only a short while to see what was happening .. but when M & S (Cycling
    shop?) went past I think he had to chase them. After all, if Schleck
    wasn't coming into sight, how long should he have waited for?

    I think the point is they all saw what happened to AS and all three were
    being a tad unsporting, not just C.

    Personally I think it was a rough deal for AS and I hope he gets some
    kind of recompense by taking the yellow jersey back.
    Paul - xxx, Jul 20, 2010
  15. Simon Brooke

    Simon Mason Guest

    Don't forget that Armstrong also waited for Ullrich when Jan rode down a
    Simon Mason, Jul 20, 2010
  16. Simon Brooke

    Simon Mason Guest

    If you attack Schleck when he is tired, you have beaten him fairly mano a
    mano, but beating him due to a chain coming off is a hollow victory. In
    football, which is renowned for winning at all costs fair and foul, if a
    player has a bad injury, then the other side kicks the ball out of play.
    When play is restarted, the injured player's team will give the ball back to
    the opposition. This is not part of the laws of the game, but an unwritten
    sporting gesture.

    Heck, an FA cup match was even replayed when Arsenal scored against Sheff
    Utd due to a player not following that "rule".

    Arsenal's victory then was as hollow as Contador's will be.
    Simon Mason, Jul 20, 2010
  17. In
    If there's any justice Contador will have a p+nct+r+ tomorrow and have to
    get a new wheel off that Mavic idiot who made such a complete horlicks of
    sorting out Nicolas Roche yesterday :)
    Dave Larrington, Jul 20, 2010
  18. Simon Brooke twisted the electrons to say:
    IMHO it comes down to how much Contador beats Schleck by when they get to
    Paris. *If* Contador rolls into Paris will a lead of less than 40
    seconds then one could argue that he won as a result of taking advantage
    of Schleck's mechanical woes, if it's not then maybe it didn't make any
    Alistair Gunn, Jul 20, 2010
  19. OK - fair enough, as I said I'm not familiar with the culture of cycle
    racing. I must admit, it still doesn't seem logical; in a marathon
    (running), if there was a leading group and someone's shoelace broke,
    would the others wait while they fixed it? Or, another example, I have
    done yacht racing, and I know for sure that an opponent's equipment
    failure is something that would be most definitely be taken advantage
    John Abramson, Jul 20, 2010
  20. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    I think it's more a matter of it earns you respect if you do do it than
    that you're seriously considered a cheat if you don't.

    Remember cycling is a curiously co-operative sport - no-one is hugely
    stronger than anyone else, you're looking at small fractions of one
    percent of ability. Everyone needs friends on other teams who will work
    with them sometimes and under some circumstances. A breakaway group of
    rivals who co-operate may succeed (but only one of them will win) whereas
    a breakaway group who don't co-operate are doomed.

    There's no equivalent of this in sailing - yes, you'll help a rival who's
    boat is sinking or otherwise in serious danger, but you don't depend on
    them to help you win.
    Simon Brooke, Jul 20, 2010
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