Re: Stage 15 TDF :Lézat-sur-Lèze - Saint-Lary Soulan (Pla d'Adet) : SpoilerOf course the Bruyneeel sending Hincapie strategy has been used, although mostly in the "offensive" context of having somebody ready there to have a leader join. or forcing a competing team to wear themselves out chasing. The "hope leader can join" version was even a strategy used by Escartin in LA's first win in 1999, not just in recent years. However, the interesting Bruyneel adaptation (and that's not to say he had this idea first) is to use this "offensive" strategy defensively as a precautionary measure against the TM strategy of bursts of acceleration to shed LA domestiques.
Interestingly, Bruyneel used the "rabbit" strategy (another defensive form of the "send a rider out on a break" strategy) in 2003 using Beltran and Rubiera, on different mountain stages, to divert people from attacking LA out of the main peloton and to have the main peloton focus on trying to chase down his mountain domestiques. Another very interesting form of the defensive form of the use of the breakaway.
Bruyneel has used this "hope leader can join/domestique can wait" strategy in the Vuelta, to help Heras to his 03 Vuelta win under USPS. On one of the cols, F Landis got to the top in a breakaway and was waiting for Heras to join him and make up time on Nozal.