Tit-for-Tat in the Peleton: Friends and Enemies.

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by TbosS, Jul 25, 2003.

  1. TbosS

    TbosS New Member

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    this topic came up in another thread. I find it so fascinating that I want to start it as a new thread. I hope nobody blames me for that.

    In a discussion about the Tour de France the topic of one team giving a favour to a rider of another team came up. The question is, does anyone know more examples/ rules that play a role in these type of arrangements?

    Let me first give some examples that came up already.

    First example: USPS and Hamilton
    Lance Armstrong instructed his USPs team to hold up the peleton to let his mate, Tyler secure the stage win.

    I'm pretty sure that is what happened. It's a sort of tit-for-tat. USPS is good friends with CSC/Hamilton. Hamilton worked for Armstrong for years, played a role in holding up the leading group after LA's fall. Besides that, Hamilton was a threat to the positions 5 to 3 in the GC so the teams of some of the competitors of LA had to work instead of USPS.


    Another example: USPS and Euskatel/Mayo
    Armstrong didn't chase Mayo on Alpe d'Huez, Mayo took the bonification seconds of Ullrich.

    An example of the opposite: USPS and Rabobank/Boogerd
    Armstrong didn't really chase Boogerd last year when he whon the stage to La Plagne. A few days later, Rabobank supported an attack on the USPS team. They didn't appreciate that. It led to the situation that in the Amstel Gold Race, Armstrong let his team work to prevent Boogerd from escaping/winning. And still you see that, when Boogerd tries to attack, he's not allowed to.

    I realize that all my examples are in relation to the USPS team. So if anybody knows examples of these type of relations between other teams/ riders of other teams that would be very interesting.

    Do you agree with the examples I gave?
    Is this a valid way to analyze outcomes of stages, besides other analyses on strategy and team strength etc?
    Does anyone know more examples?
     
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  2. claggy

    claggy New Member

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    david millar lead out his friends mcgee and cooke at marseille , he also helped uspostal a few years ago on the stage over the joux plane when pantani attacked.

    the spanish teams used to work for indurain when there was a dangerous break away.
    i remember also tonkov and conti helping indurain out a few times.
    theres also the case of the spanish teams ganging up on robert millar in the tour of spain 1986 i think , when alvaro pino won.

    cant think of any more right now.
     
  3. Seraphim

    Seraphim New Member

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    Very interesting question!

    Of course there are many friendly and rivalry relations.

    Maybe the best example nowadays, besides the ever-existing Spaniard rivalry, is the US Postal-Rabobank rivalry (a real shame).

    But there are more strong examples:
    You are Dutch, TbosS, so you should know about the really LEGENDARY rivalry between the strong Dutch teams of Peter Post and Jan Raas, back in the late ‘80s and early ‘90’s!
    It beacem at it’s most ugliest in a shameful Tour-stage, somewhere in that period: two riders of those two teams on front…and they didn’t cooperate at all!!!

    But another good example of FRIENDSHIP is that of Leon van Bon and Servais Knaven, two of yesterday’s frontliners!
    They knwo each other for a long time, rode in the same team a while ago, and are friends.
    In the Tour they often discuss together and make plans to try to escape from the peloton… :D
    There even are reports saying that for instance after a stage, Van Bon visits the hotel of Knaven’s team and the make plans for the next day. Often togehter with some Rabobank-members (Dekker mainly!).

    Beautiful! :D

    In yesterday's stage you could also see that when Knaven escaped from the ehad group, the other Dutch riders didn't start the chase. Only after some other riders chased Knaven, Van Bon and De Groot tried to çontrol" them...
     
  4. Seraphim

    Seraphim New Member

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    I also believe, by the way, that the evening before's last year's Tour stage in Plouay Van Bon and Knaven came to the hotel of Rabobank to discuss next day's stage.

    The ranking in next day's stage (14 July, French national feast day):
    1 Kroon (NED, Rabobank)
    2 Knaven (NED, Quick Step)
    3 Dekker (NED, Rabobank)

    I believe Van Bon missed the flight!

    :D :D :D
     
  5. TbosS

    TbosS New Member

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    Seraphim and Claggy, thnx for the commentz. Especially the Dutch examples were familiar to me (of course Seraphim!).

    These types of self-organisation in the peleton are truly fascinating, aren't they? Basically it is the only way to be succesful in several races/tours. You have to cooperate to win, and try to get a good/ fair trade.

    Now for the Tour of this year it is clear that USPS has good relationships with several teams. They help eachother out, and both all from it.

    It's interesting to see the relationship between Bianchi and Telekom. Vino and Ullrich are friends, and they also have been helping eachother out.
    I believe that there have been attempts by Bianchi to get Euskatel to attack, but they didn't succeed (probably because of the good ties with USPS and because of the good relationship between Bianchi and Telekom).

    But what's the deal with these deals? what things are asked? Who asks (a rider, a team coach)? do they only concern promisses/threats (if you win here, I want to win there etc)? or can it also involve money or whatever?
     
  6. claggy

    claggy New Member

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    do you remember the giro a few years ago, cant remember the year but it was when gotti won his first giro.
    tonkov and leblanc wouldnt stop attacking each other on the first mountain of the first mountain stage , they both wore each other out and gotti went on to win.
    apparently leblanc and tonkov had a falling out in a previous race.
     
  7. TbosS

    TbosS New Member

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    :( no sorry, I'm afraid that I don't remember that one. I usually haven't got the time to follow the Giro stage by stage.
    But it seems like another good example. What I'm wondering about now is if these types of 'fights' or friendships are more or less based honor, and if you helped eachother out, or if they are more rational/calculated and that they also might involve (secret) payments or whatever.
     
  8. Seraphim

    Seraphim New Member

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    I can give you this answer, TbosS:
    it sometimes also involves money!
    I can't give you clear expamles right now, but "payments" oftne involve either money, "other Tour-payments" like clear agreements for for instance the other jerseys, and of course agreements on winning the stage.

    Very interesting by the way is the "relationship" between Ullrich and Vinokourov.
    Their relationship is only personal!
    They are friends and want to work together soemtimes.

    But their teams, their team directors (Godefroot and Pevenage) aren’t friends and co-operating!!
    Why should they be, if the one “steals” Ullrich from the other (Ullrich went from Telekom to Team Coast)?

    Everybody now thinks that these teams are co-operating now, but it’s actually only the individuals Jan and Alexandre who are friends and co-operating!
     
  9. TbosS

    TbosS New Member

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    Thnx Seraphim, and I agree with you that the irrationality of these types of agreements or personal friendships is just as interesting as the more orchestrated/ rational agreements are.

    Thinking of this subject just makes me want to know more and more. Too bad the Tour is over. ;-)

     
  10. Seraphim

    Seraphim New Member

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    But there are other races, TbosS! :)

    Other "irrationalities" to look for... ;)
    That's the most interesting: it doesn't stop at the end of the Tour!!!

    Watch especially for the next-coming Classics in Zurich and San Sebastian. Maybe (like often) Armstrong is competing, and what will he do with Boogerd (2nd place in the Classics Ranking) then?
    Boogerd wants to go for victory in that Ranking (just as Van Petegem, Bettini).
    Will Armstrong (USPostal) say: OK, i've annoyed you (Rabobank) two times (last year's Tour Holland and this year's Amstel Gold Race), now all payments are payed.
    Or will USP/ Armstrong keep trying to annoy that team? And if, for god's sake, WHY? :)

    I mean: who decides when all payments have been "done" or payed, and why/ why not?
     
  11. TbosS

    TbosS New Member

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    LOL, I know, I know!

    I'll be paying attention to that. And I sure hope that Armstrong will decide that this debt is payed off, or else he is starting to annoy me.

    "this year was unacceptable", how on earth can you say that!
     
  12. patch70

    patch70 New Member

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    There is a fairly strong rivalry between fdjeux.com and Brioche la Boulangerie. This was sparked by a misunderstanding between Baden Cooke & Didier Rous and now the two teams do whatever they can to stuff up the other's goals.
     
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