Did Ullrich wait for Lance on Luz Ardiden?

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by Beastt, Feb 21, 2004.

  1. Beastt

    Beastt New Member

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    It seems that although most people saw the same thing interpretations vary concerning what happened when Lance fell on Luz Ardiden. What did you see? Did Ullrich wait for Lance? Did Ullrich keep going? Or did Tyler Hamilton take responsibility for slowing the group?
     
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  2. Trev_S

    Trev_S New Member

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    hmmmmm..............
    This is going to be a never ending arguement
    as many believe he did wait & many believe he did not.
    As seen on other posts & forums it seems everybody is set on their waited/not waited belief.
    Personally I think it was obvious he waited, although he certainly did not come to a halt but slowed sufficiently and certainly did not attack.

    Why not attack?
    I reckon he should have gone for it at that point.
    After all Armstrong made a mistake and paid the penalty and hit the ground for it, why should the etiquatte say wait for the rider (or is it the race leader) who has made a cock up of his race? Is that not how races are won & lost? (any type of racing ie:motor racing, athletics etc. etc.) That would be like Armstrong stopping for 30secs in the TT race because Ullrich crashed & lost 30 odd seconds & of course that did not happen.
    It's a friggen race after all isn't it? he who puts the faultless ride together is the likely stage/winner.

    I also reckon Armstrong would have gone given the reverse situation. (he didn't hesitate or look back up the hill once back on the road to see of any result of Beloki's crash). Ok fair enough argument in saying Vini was getting away & was pretty close on the GC.

    Armstrong was being pressured and would have taken any advantage to maintain or increase his lead. This was not like the time he stop for Ullrich in a previous TDF, (Armstrong had a lead of a couple of minutes & 2nd place getter Ullrich was sitting in the dirt) It's easy to do that when he had the race pretty well sown up.
     
  3. leif_ericson

    leif_ericson New Member

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    I don't see why there was such confusion about it.
    If Ullrich was going all out, why were a bunch of riders that he had just dropped able to easily come up along side of him?

    I wish they all would have kept going all out.
    I didn't think that much of that stage, because that 'pause' for Armstrong really messed up the whole tempo of the race.
     
  4. Shnerpals

    Shnerpals New Member

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    Lance waiting for Ullrich and Ullrich waiting for Lance were both very different situations...When lance waited for Ullrich they were both going downhill and then riding on relatively flat land where it was easy for Lance to wait for Ullrich...along with the fact that Lance had major time on Ullrich...When Lance fell Ullrich wasnt really able to wait in the same way that Lance waited for him...they were climbing a mountain and for Ullrich to slow down enough to actually wait for Lance it would have screwed up his tempo...So it seems to me that Ullrich didnt really wait for Lance but he wasnt about to attack him either...Tyler Hamilton did obviously want the riders to slow down more to let Lance get back to the group faster and thats why he moved out front and told the riders to slow up...
    In response to the comments made by Trev_S and leif_ericson...I dont think the confusion was whether Ullrich was going all out but whether he slowed down enough to be considered him waiting for Lance. I think it was right for the other riders to not keep going all out because they would have attacked unfairly. Ullrich and Lance waited out of respect for each other. They know that they dont win the race unless they beat their top competitors fair and square and not because they took advantage of the other riders when they were down...comparing it to a time trial is wrong...a time trial has totally different elements and rules to it than a regular stage...for a time trial the rider is just racing against the clock all out to finish the race in the fastest time they can ride. Unlike a stage where the riders are together riding against each other...That is why it wouldnt be the same for Lance to wait for Ullrich in the TT....In the stage where Beloki fell Lance did not have the option to look back or wait because he was forced to ride into a field ...while a main competitor was gaining time on him....also Lance knowing the speed that he and Beloki were riding and Lance seeing the way that Beloki fell he most likely knew that Beloki was down for a while...if not out of the race...
     
  5. jstraw

    jstraw New Member

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    Ullrich didn't *stop* but he'd already slowed before Hamilton was near him. I don't know which poll answer that would be.
     
  6. Trev_S

    Trev_S New Member

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    If a rider makes a mistake which causes a fall or running of the road, anything that looses time then they have been beaten fair and square. Maybe that mistake is bought about by the pressure applied to him by the other rider. As Beloki's fall could be said to have occured because he was pushing hard to try to get away from armstrong, made an error tyre blow out & bammo on the ground. Armstrongs could have been affected by pressure from Ullrich, he cut the corner to fine collected the crowd & bammo on the ground, A rider error!!!!! plain & simple.
    If valentino rossi & max biaggi are racing (motorcycle racing) & one of them run off the track, does the other wait because it's not a fair victory? No of course not. The mistake is caused by pressure applied from the opponent.
    Ullrich crashed in the TT because he had to push hard to make up lost time, he had to risk the crash. Pressure!!!
    It's an old racing tactic that has been around for years & years.

    I only stated the TT earlier because it would be a ridiculous scenario to occur. It maybe against the clock but each rider is still racing against each other & not for a personal best time.

    I just think that it is the perfect time to attack, your competitor has made a mistake. In the same way a rider might attack when their competitor is not paying attention or isn't marking them etc etc. (they could be considered mistakes that could loose races)
    Rider error!!! be it crash or a tactical error.
    Maybe I don't get the cycling etiquette. :confused:

    Sure the other waiting circumstances where all different, thats what I meant to imply :)
    I think the term "wait" means did he slow down to allow the crashed rider to catch back up, rather than coming to a stop, which I agree just ruins your tempo, particularly on a climb.

    Oh yeah! as for the Armstrong looking back to Beloki, I know that whilst riding through that field doesn't allow any chance to look back. What I said was once he got back down to the road, he put his head down and hammered back up to speed. True that at the descent speeds it wasn't likely that Beloki would jump up to quickly.
     
  7. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    The definition of slowing down in the general sense and in the cycling sense differ.

    In the normal use of language to slow down means to actually decelerate in velocity.
    In the cycling sense, slowing down means not accelerating away
    ie keeping the same tempo prior to an incident.
    Ullrich did not try to accelerate away from Armstrong when he fell,
    therefore he did slow down, in the cycling sense of the phrase.

    If you look at where Hamilton was prior to LA's fall, he was some way behind.
    If Ullrich hadn't slowed down or if he had acclerated, Hamilton would not have been in a position to hold a conversation with Ullrich approx 45 seconds later because the distance between
    Hamilton and LA (Ullrich) was approximately 1 minute.
    Ullrich page 32 Cycle Sport magazine Jan 2004 :
    "We waited for Lance. Of course we did. You can see it on the television and it's clear.
    first we low down and then you can see we are waiting because
    Hamiltons group comes up to us really fast even though they were a lon way behind. If we hadn't waited, then Hamilton wouldn't have been to shout.Waiting for was the right thing to do,
    and we did it"
     
  8. jstraw

    jstraw New Member

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    I agree with that assessment completely. Who here does not?
     
  9. Beastt

    Beastt New Member

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    Let me say first that I hope this works. I'm not sure if the image is too big for the page or big enough to show any detail. I provided it so that I could make references to what I see. Secondly, yes.. I'm afraid I'm admitting to what a void of a life I lead in that I had, and took the time to put all of this together.

    I'm not sure I buy it completely. What I see at first is Ullrich, understandably confused. Who wasn't? Armstrong seemed to be bowled over by an invisible truck. Obviously I don't know what Ullrich was thinking anymore than anyone else. Only Jan knows for sure. But it looks to me like he's fighting an internal conflict; "I'm so close. I could perhaps take the jersey right here and now. But a gentleman waits." Perhaps that's what I see because I find it hard to believe I would be thinking anything other than that if in a similar situation.

    In the first frame here, you can see Ullrich pushing to catch and stay with Mayo and Armstrong before the crash.

    In the second frame, Armstrong has become intimate with the road surface.

    In frame 3, an understandably confused Ullrich is trying to get his bike back on line and figure out what just happened. I don't have much video of Ullrich between that point and the point just beyond where Lance slips a pedal. The camera is on Armstrong and Mayo for the most part.

    Frame 4 is where Armstrong slips out of the pedal.

    In frame 5 it looks like Ullrich is sitting up, though it's doubtful he knows that Armstrong has had another problem. He's still working, but hell, it's a steep climb! He certainly looks like he's not going full out.

    In frames 7, 8 and 9 he doesn't have the same appearance of holding back. He looks to me very much the way he did just prior to Armstrong going down.

    In frame 10 he has swung wide on the corner as Tyler Hamilton came forward.

    Then notice in frame 11, (only a second or two later), he has dropped back substantially. Almost as though he felt Tyler's gestures were directed at him. (You can see his front wheel behind the rider to Tyler's right.)

    A very good point was made about other riders quickly catching up to Jan after Armstrong fell. This certainly seemed to indicate that he slowed. Limerickman offered a figure of 1-minute between Hamilton and Ullrich at the point where Armstrong fell.

    This caused me to go back and take another look, frame by frame. If you look at frame 12 you can see Ullrich inside the celeste-colored oval on the right edge of the image and another rider a short distance behind him denoted with a red oval. That second rider is Tyler Hamilton. I apologize for the tiny image and I know it's nearly impossible to tell anything from it but I have the full image and anyone with the video can double-check for themselves. You can even see Hamilton's open jersey and the gauze wrappings that were supporting his broken clavicle. Hamilton was mere seconds behind Ullrich and as you can see, Mayo has just remounted and is being helped by a spectator, (the spectator is in the blue shirt next to Mayo in orange). Armstrong is, at this point, behind Mayo in the frame and struggling with his chain.

    This, of course, doesn't mean that Ullrich didn't slow but it would seem to indicate that the other riders had very little catching up to do to be with Ullrich and obviously, Hamilton felt that the pace being held was inappropriate.

    As I said, I have my doubts. I don't think Ullrich charged ahead with everything he had, if he'd done that, he probably would not have wasted any time by bothering to look back as he is doing in frame #6, but frames 7, 8 and 9 don't seem to indicate that his paced was reduced substantially. That, coupled with obvious efforts that Christophe Moreau was putting forth at several points in order to stay with Ullrich give rise to substantial doubt that Ullrich was truly attempting to let Armstrong re-join the group. The video shows Moreau, standing and hammering, mouth-agape to stay with Jan.

    (Please note that I believe I kept things in relative order here. Frames #7 and #12 should be the only ones out of chronological order. I wanted 7, 8 & 9 grouped together because I believe they all show Ullrich pressing ahead. Frame #12 was held to the end to address the specific issue of the gap between Ullrich and Hamilton at the time Armstrong fell.)
     
  10. Shnerpals

    Shnerpals New Member

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    I completely understand your point that it is the riders mistake when they fall and that it would be a perfect time for another rider to attack but what i meant by fair and square i mean the riders riding together and beating each other when they were both up...i dont think most people actually understand the cycling etiquette b/c most people grow up learning and knowing that you just go for it no matter what happens even when your competitor is down...i think that is the reason why i like cycling so much for the fact that most times cyclists wait when the others are down...and of course for the times that no one knows whether a cyclist waited or not and it becomes a huge debate for people who, i dont know, talk on forums...hehe and i hope it didnt seem like i was attacking your ideas in any way...which it prolly did and sorry if i you took it that way!!!
     
  11. Shnerpals

    Shnerpals New Member

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    In response to the post made by Beastt:

    first let me say holy crap...and second is i think you won your case! hehe that was awesome! i agree with you completely and hope you never stand against me in a debate! hehe
     
  12. Trev_S

    Trev_S New Member

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    Shnerpals:
    Not at all. I never thought you were attacking my ideas, so I didn't take it out of context. So I hope visa versa :)
    I think we are both agreeing on the subject just coming from different angles. :)
    Cycling certainly does come across as one of the few gentlemanly sports (except maybe the sprinters they go at it pretty hard at times :) ) and certainly I think that most riders prefer to win in the best possible way where nobody has any unfortunate accidents etc. Compared to a lot of other sports this is a rare thing.


    Beastt:
    good job putting together that assesment.
    very clear.
     
  13. Ted B

    Ted B New Member

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    Given the sheer determination and effort being put forth by these riders at this point in the competition, I feel it's reasonable to assume that Ullrich's knee-jerk instinct was to attack. It's also clear that for several reasons (both internal and external), his better judgment prevailed, and if there was a 'Most Honorable Sportsman' award, he should get it.

    The way I see it, not attacking in the wake of such a situation = waiting. The prevailing irony here is that it is this situation which made Lance so angry that once he got back on his bike, he channeled his anger through the pedals and brought this stage quickly to a head. So what looked to be a diaster for LA in fact turned out to be his wake-up call, which he converted to a decisive conclusion.
     
  14. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Beastt,

    Just read your reply to the question about whether Ullrich slowed down at Luz or not.

    The first thing to say is that by not accelerating away, Ullrich effectively slowed down.
    He did not attempt to capitalize on Armstrong’s fall.

    The accident (in your frames 2-3) happened directly in front of Jan Ullrich on that point of the climb.
    Armstrong’s handlebar got entangled in a spectators plastic bag.
    Armestrong fell and Mayo, who was following closely behind Armstrong, fell also.
    This is 00.00 (zero minute, zero seconds)

    In that split second – when the fall happened – Ullrich could have decided to accelerate because he remained upright on his bike.
    At that point, at that split second, he decided not to accelerate.
    Regardless of Hamilton’s gestures further up the road – it was at that point, in your frame 2 and frame 3, that Ullrich decided not to accelerate away when Armstrong and Mayo fell.

    If you look at the video, Ullrich was riding at a set tempo prior to the crash.

    His tempo never changed in frame 2 and frame 3 and if you spin the video on, you will see that his tempo actually slowed down after frames 2 and frame 3.
    The camera pans to Ullrich at 38 seconds after Armstrong fell : his tempo has slowed, there is no one else in the camera shot with Ullrich.
    Eurosport’s live coverage (which I taped that day) clearly shows Ullrich looking backwards to see what happened as he slowed his tempo (your frames 8 and 9).
    Again, this is 38 seconds after Armstrong fell.
    I don’t see Hamilton in either frame that you displayed on your message.
    Nor was he in shot on the live video.

    The camera then goes back to Armstrong – and his foot slips out of his pedal at 1 minute and 5 seconds after he fell.
    The camera stays with Armstrong, as he regains his composure and works his way back through the group.
    At one minute 35 seconds after Armstrongs fall, the camera pans to Ullrich who is
    still going at a slow tempo and in this shot, there is a Fasso Bortola cyclist,
    Credit Agricole rider Christophe Moreau and behind Moreau is Hamilton !
    At one minute 42 seconds after Armstrongs fall, the camera pans Ullrich who has
    moved to the right hand side of the road, and Hamilton is on Ullrich’s immediate
    left hand side raising his hand.

    I’ve re-checked the Eurosport tape and according to my timing there is a one minute 42 second time gap between Armstrong’s fall and Hamilton’s gesture in your frame 10.
    This one minute 42 seconds would approximate to Jan Ullrich’s statement in Cycle Sport Magazine January 2004 where he says that Hamilton was a minute behind him when the accident happened.
    If Ullrich had accelerated at the point where Armstrong had fallen, Hamilton would not have been in a position to be beside Ullrich in your frame 10 and 11.

    The decision that Ullrich made in frames 2 and 3 is what is crucial to this whole debate.
    Ullrich decided not to acclerate at that point, nor did he accelerate in the subsequent frames that you displayed.
    On the video, you will see his tempo slowing, in the aftermath of the fall.
    For one minute 42 seconds, Ullrich could have decided to accelerate – he decided not to do so.
    In fact, his tempo actually slowed down.
    Hamilton is not even close to Ullrich when he decided to slow his tempo.
    It was only after he slowed down that Hamilton came in clear view on the video.
     
  15. Beastt

    Beastt New Member

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    Having read your reply, limerickman, your points are very well taken. My video, (and I have watched it repeatedly), is an edited version and does not allow me to time the event with any credibility. Clearly Ullrich did slow immediately following Lance's crash. I think everyone in the vicinity slowed if for no other reason than to try to figure out what was happening.

    I suppose the question comes down to whether or not Ullrich remained at a slower pace as you said he did. Clearly he did not attempt to accelerate away - to attack with everything while Lance was down. But to me, and this may be the crux of the whole issue, Ullrich still looks hungry shortly after the crash and before Armstrong re-joined the group. That hungry look seems to be accompanied by a rather vigorous pace... that's what I see.

    In regard to Hamilton's location at the moment of the crash, it's very clear in the video which I assume was probably all shot from the same motorcycle. I'll post the frame a bit larger here. You can see Hamiltons white-framed glasses perched atop his head, his CSC jersey unzipped down the front and the gauze wrappings that held his fractured collarbone in place. He's only seconds behind Ullrich.

    If Ullrich was under the impression that Hamilton was farther back, he was clearly mistaken.
     
  16. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I have just read your prely and indeed your framed does show
    Hamilton clearly close to Ullrich at the point of when LA crashes.

    I've just checked the video again (interrupted the wifes soaps, she'll kill me if I continue to do this !).
    When LA remounts his bike after he fell, Chechu is cycling beside him and they pass a CSC rider with number 78 on his shirt.
    I think this is Sastre (because team numbers are issued in alphabetical order - nine riders per team so, I would think that 78
    is Sastre rather than Hamilton).
    I've checked the frames again and I cannot see Hamilton appearing until they show the shot of Ullrich, followed by the Fasso Bortolo rider, Christophe Moreau and then Hamilton
    (they've just come around a corner and you can see hamilton coming in to the shot).
    That shot is 1 minute 35 seconds after LA fell.
    At 1 minute 42 seconds, Ullrich has moved to the right side of the road and TH is to his left and he has lifted his left arm in a motion
    to ask them to slow down.

    But yes, your shot does clearly show Hamilton when LA fell ?
    Would the gradient of the angle have anything to do with it ?
    The shot appears to show a straight road - in that you can see
    Ullrich and TH clearly in this frame.
    What it may not convey is the real distance between them.
     
  17. Jim's ride

    Jim's ride New Member

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    It was obvious Ullrich slowed down after he was told to slow down.
     
  18. Ted B

    Ted B New Member

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    Agreed. Cameras often distort the real distance between two objects, oftentimes making close and distant objects along a straight line of sight appear very close together, when in fact, they are not. In the photo in question given the distance and background noise, I doubt Hamilton could have gotten Ullrich's attention unless he was screaming at the top of his lungs. Considering the context of the situation, I doubt that's what he did.
     
  19. bomber

    bomber New Member

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    it suits most riders who consider themselves tour contenders not to attack in those situations as should something like that incident befall them then they would hope that they would not be attacked by other tour contenders. i dont think its a gentlemanly decision at all but one of self preservation at a different stage.
     
  20. Beastt

    Beastt New Member

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    I agree partially. Although it may be very difficult to make friends in the peleton, making enemies is very easy. As you state, if you take advantage of others, you would have no reason to expect others not to remember that fact and, in turn, take advantage of you. But I feel there is a second reason as has been pointed out by others on the forum. People at the top of the game want to know that they beat their competition head to head without taking advantage of another's bad luck. Many have made this very point including Tyler Hamilton in an interview at the end of Stage 15. The idea is that when one rider becomes the victim of bad luck or even bad judgement at times, you wait until the playing field is even again before testing your strength against theirs. A win not based on superior strength and tactics is a fairly hollow victory.
     
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