Italian tactics at the Worlds

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Rik O'Shea, Oct 15, 2003.

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  1. Rik O'Shea

    Rik O'Shea Guest

    I think the tactics of the Italian team and Ballerini & Co have to be called into question in
    relation to their tactics at the Men's World Road Race Championship.

    Here is a team with an absolute embarrasment of riches - full of talented, incredibly strong one day
    riders. A team with such dept of field that they can afford to leave behind the likes of Bartoli &
    Rebellin. Probably at least half if not more of the Italian team would have the physical capability
    of winning the Worlds and would be outright team leaders if they represented a different

    So what is their tactics ? They effectively make their "game plan" public by declaring that Bettini
    is the undisputed leader - this ensures that all the other teams have to do is effectively mark
    Bettini. The Italian team then effectively neutalize the whole race (bar the last lap) and give all
    the other teams a free armchair ride to the finish and then get beaten at the finish. Bettini ends
    up in 4th spot with no team mates to support him when it really counted - all his team mates were
    effectively knackered from riding tempo at the front for 20 odd laps.

    With a group of 12 talented riders this team could easily have done better. On a course like this
    they needed tactics that ensure that the race was hard, very hard - with about 20 riders ariving at
    the finish not 100. Maybe have Bettini as the leader for the finale and 2-4 secondary leaders (say
    Casagrande, Frigo & Bartoli or Rebellin who should have been selected) who would be given a free
    hand to race their own race and infiltrate the breaks making the other nations chase.

    If the Casagrande, Frigo, Bartoli, Rebellin breakaways didn't work then the Italian team would be
    fresh near the end and could contribute to setting a very hard pace and ensuring that Bettini only
    had to compete with a small group of riders on equal terms for the win.


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