ANDERSON: GreenEDGE needs results heading into Tour season
L B L Phil and Fignon 87
The GreenEDGE website is a little quirky at first, but once you work your way through, it can be very informative. The backdoor pass gives a great team insight.
SBS coverage has been a real treat.
After years of struggling to find footage of the classics bootlegging off some US subscribed cable network, we should never take the ethnic channel’s coverage for granted.
The commercial networks should be paying attention. And they are.
The coverage of the Paris Roubaix’s kicked off just prior to the peleton hitting the Foret de Arenberg. I didn’t hear what happened to the boys in green because once the race hits the cobbles, it is very difficult to transmit vision of anyone else other than the riders at the front of the lead groups.
If you are following riders or teams, this is where we Aussies miss out as the coverage is a live feed contracted from a European network.
I found it surprising that the team veteran, Stuey O’Grady, was the best placed GreenEDGE rider with only one other finisher.
I would have expected that Stuey’s role would have been that of a mentor and leader, there to guide the younger riders, using his expertise to keep the young guns focused and well positioned leading into the business end of the day’s proceedings.
Last year, Mitch Docker rode a very commendable Paris Roubaix and yet he didn’t get a ride.
Without knowing team tactics, it does seem odd.Despite the team’s failings, and it has to be said it was not a good overall performance, it was good to see the old-dog up front in the closing kilometres.
Staying with GreenEDGE, the results have been steady and I think the team should be pleased with the start of the season. The women’s results have been outstanding, while Gerro’s Milan-Sanremo was extraordinary.
This early start gave the team a good standing in the points ratings.
Without a rider to star in the overall results in the Grand Tours, the classics were where the team was expected to gain strong early season’s results, having Goss for Flanders and Roubaix and Gerro traditionally a place getter in the Ardennes classics.
With the Spring classics now behind them, GreenEDGE would be taking stock of their results and focusing on the build up to the Giro and Tour of California in the upcoming preparation races such as the Tour of Romandie and the Tour of Turkey.
GreenEDGE needs to focus on maintaining some results as the season heads towards the Euro summer and steadying a potential slide to the lower end of the rankings as we hit the Tour season.
A new strategy is required to maintain the momentum, as without significant wins, a team starts to focus on points and a negative pressure can start to build.
We do have 2 years but consistent results alleviates this pressure, allowing a team to focus on big tour results and grand achievements by riders like Cadel.
He does not have to endure the worry of a team making enough points to maintain their pro-tour license and he is able to focus solely on Le Tour.
I would say GreenEDGE has a way to go before they are able to confidently put forward one rider to lead the team into an event like Le Tour and have that rider considered seriously.
Since I retired in the mid-nineties, the season has kept pretty much the same shape, and once the Spring Classics were over, I would take a short break of about three weeks from hard racing before picking up the next block of races that I would use to sharpen the form leading into the Tour de France.
I put a lot of emphasis on the classics and achieved considerable results.
A break was needed both physically and mentally.
Training the first week of the break would be pretty light recovering enjoyable rides, with the kilometers starting to build after 10 days and finally intensity creeping in the week prior to entering competition again towards the end of May.
Things have changed, though. I raced close to 110 days a year. We had to.
Pro-tour has an extended season but protected riders like Cadel hardly get their face in the wind until the tour.
Cadel has been out of the spotlight for a few weeks due to illness and is probably a few weeks behind where he was this time last year.
He is back into race-mode at the Tour of Romandie in Switzerland.
Traditionally he will ride the hilly Ardennes classics leading into Romandie. However, even without his health problems, Cadel has been racing less and less as he matures.
This does put additional pressure on him in the few events he does race, as he is not only judging his condition, but that of his team.
Not having finished a race since winning Criterium International in March a few weeks ago, I’m sure the 2011 Tour de France winner will be eager to see where his fitness level is when riding beside some of the other Tour favorites, such as Bradley Wiggins and Ivan Basso.
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