Author Topic: US Nat team season 15  (Read 971 times)

Kekipi

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US Nat team season 15
« on: February 08, 2021, 03:37:41 AM »
S15 NT Race 1



Outlook and results: Just as in S14, Blanton (73rd ranked) is the only USA guy in the golden pure hills standings, so he again was the leader.  Unlike in S14, I got the tactics right, but not perfect.  This was evident to me because Carrere of France, who is just five places ahead of Blanton in the rankings (68th) ended up winning the stage. Meanwhile, lots of high-ranked Hillers did not make the top 20, including Todd Power (15th)  and Jake Beal (22nd) of Great Britain (coach forgot to put in tactics?).   On the other hand, outstanding rides were put in by Mochalov of Ukraine (finished 3rd @ rank 96), Igaunis of Letonia (finished 8th @ rank 88), Conte of Italy (finished 15th @ rank 78), Gilbert of France (finished 17th but was unranked), and Bessalov of Ukraine (finished 19th but was unranked).  Great coaching/tactics also likely helped these riders.   

So the USA is ahead of the game compared to its performance in S1 last season. That's gratifying. 
« Last Edit: February 08, 2021, 04:09:07 AM by Kekipi »

Kekipi

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Re: US Nat team season 15
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2021, 01:44:30 AM »
S15 NT Race 2



Outlook and results:

Isaiah Friend was given the captainship because though he had a slightly lower GV than Matt Janson, he had the same experience level, plus he had the hot weather icon.  The USA coach was nervous about this choice but decided to give him the "Friendly nod," pun intended.

Captain Friend(ly) started off with 2 EPs.  In the climb and the descent of the Portalet, he was @ :40 with four helpers.  Three other helpers, along with free riding Washington, were 14 seconds ahead in a group of 32.  And ahead of them was a group of 63 @ :12 and ahead of them was the lead group of 40, most who likely went full gas (i.e. 5 EPs) to get there and stay there.  A cursory survey of this lead group, btw, revealed that there were lower-ranked gold and a few silver climbers among them, hence the deduction that most or all went at it in full-EP mode.

In NT races, such a tactic is certainly not unheard of.

In S2, the climb and descent of the Aubisque, some truth was revealed, and the lead group splintered and now numbered a (un)lucky 13 (only one of them--Suenens of Belgium--ultimately made the top 20).  In the meantime, the American captain stayed in Friendly terms (pun again intended) with all eight of his teammates in a group of 33 @ 1:01. The coach of the Americans was not sure if he should have been worried at this point.

In S3, the racers ascended then descended the hors categorie Col du Tourmalet.  Here, the Americans continued their let’s-stick-together groupfest (@ :38), save for old man, but highly respected Richard Washington, who was allowed off the leash to test his legs.  Unfortunately, he did not get very far ahead.   “But good try, old guy,” said his coach.

In the Aspin section (S4), Friend found himself without any.  Though he lacked any teammates to aid him, he still was in auspicious company @ :36, and his group included nine others who’d finish in the top 20, among them being podium placers Miro of Spain (1st) and Palachev of the Ukraine (3rd). 

Friend had the misfortune of suffering a mechanical in S5, the climb of the Cat 1 Col de Val-Louron-Azet.  He took to running with his bike, ala Froome on the Ventoux in TDF 2016, and still ended up with a top 20 place (15th), which is considered a positive result, given the mishap and given his middle-of-the-pack place in the Golden Climber ranking. 

To celebrate, the Americans drank several cases of Bud Light beer at the team hotel.   


Kekipi

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Re: US Nat team season 15
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2021, 09:07:34 AM »
It seems that teams waster a lot of efforts at the beginning, because Dudley, Palachev, Miro and some other were at 41'' in S2 too... the favs were relaxed knowing that in the important part they are strong enough to catch all this guys to has gone far at the beginning of the stage hehe. The good one was for Boris Walker, that was strong enough to maintain the position even without helpers.

**(Franky's comment was from the S15 Australian NT forum)


I thought it would be interesting to see a section by section breakdown for the top 20 riders of the mountain stage as well as the GCR (Golden Climber Rankings) for each.  Sorry, I was too lazy to determine the pure climber ranking, but the overall GCR should suffice to give an idea of who had a good (and not so good) day tactically.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 09:15:00 AM by Kekipi »

Vos

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Re: US Nat team season 15
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2021, 01:17:33 PM »
Nice to read your race report, Kekipi ! ( as always )
And a mechanical breakdown in the crucial climb to Val-Louron for sure makes a big difference.
Despite this, even a 15º place with the nr 265 of the golden climb ranking. Not many points, but still impressive.

Good luck in the next NT sprint race !
My prediction ; again many weird things will happen, and due to the storm probably even more weird things as usual in the NT races.

Kekipi

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Re: US Nat team season 15
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2021, 12:06:41 AM »
S15 NT Race 3



Outlook and results:

  As has been pointed out by others, sprint races are like that line from the movie Forrest Gump.  You know, this one:

I did know the wind would be near hurricane force for the stage, and my designated captain, Bruce Saucedo, is a three-wind icon guy, so could he come through for the USA?  I didn't know what to expect but, as always, I hoped for a result.

The big mystery in sprints is how much energy to expend prior to the final section.  Given the right circumstances, it is possible for a rider to spend zero EPs in the lead-up sections, and if he can avoid being dropped, he'll achieve the best possible result.  The zero EP holy grail is more likely suicidal than remotely possible for an NT race.  Trying such a thing reminds me of another Forrest Gump quote.  You know, this one:

Believe me, the above has applied to me in the past as I've attempted to negotiate the steep learning curve that is thrust upon a neophyte NT coach, but I'm happy to report that as I've persevered, my idiocy score has decreased.   :D

Anyway, regarding EPS, for this race, I assigned 4 (of 7 possible) for Saucedo in the opening four sections. It's almost a given that for a sprint race, a rider needs 5eps in the final section to score, but, as I reviewed the section times of the top 20 riders for this race, I noted that Great Britain, which placed four riders in the points, and totaled 470 for the stage (good work!), likely had some of those four not expending 5eps in the end. Of course, another possibility is that some spent 5, 6 or 7 EPs in the opening four sections. 

What I was trying hard to avoid is Saucedo getting dropped in S1, so I had him ride aggressively there.  Well, it worked but, when I checked the S1 results and saw that 144 (of 171) riders made the lead group, the S word from above bounced around in my head.  Three EPs were too much, I thought.

So, hoping to spare myself pain, I next clicked on the link for S4 and saw Saucedo @ :20 with five teammates.  In front was a lead group of 22.  Well, not this time, I thought to myself.

To see how badly I had screwed up, I next clicked on S5 and was amazed(!) to see that Saucedo had made it to the Top 20.

To see how he (and the others in the Top 20) did it, see below.

*GSR = Golden Sprint Rank

Vos

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Re: US Nat team season 15
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2021, 10:36:05 AM »
Of course, as you and everyone knows ; the golden sprint ranking is not accurate, because it also includes the cyclists listed as hills sprinter.
Now the result of Blair looks even worse than it already is, grrrrrrr !  ;)  :D
But as always ; very nice to read your post / this topic, Kekipi.

My real comment on your post = the NT sprint races are a lottery ;
maybe we both should quit our NT jobs because maybe we are more lucky if we buy a shrimp boat;D


Kekipi

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Re: US Nat team season 15
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2021, 01:15:24 AM »
S15 NT Race 4


David McDermot came in 4th, scoring 200 pts for the team.   The next best was Ryan Cann, age 26, who placed 78th @ :30.  A future TT hopeful is Walter Coburn, currently the 3rd ranked 23 year old.  Anyway, he came in 88th @ :33.  Everyone else was racing to up their experience.

S15 NT Race 5


Blown tactics meant no points for the team in this stage.   :'(

The helpers, at least most of them, needed to ride 54300 to be of any use and the captain had to ride 43230 or 43140 to have a chance to score.  Anything less, which is what I assigned, would net nada. 

The Spanish team had their ducks in a row, and a powerful bunch of ducks they are (4th, 6th, and 7th ranked cobble hillers in the game, plus two others in the top 40), so if they got their tactics right, which they obviously did, with five of nine finishing in the top 20, other teams would have a more difficult time scoring.  Also doing well were the Ukranians and the Brits, each with 3 riders in the top 20.  So those three countries grabbed 11 of the 20 scoring spots, including six of the top 10.  So that meant the rest of us were left to grab the scraps, which required flawless tactics. 

Alas, that wasn't us this time.

But we will move on to battle in the cobbled hills another season, with a good lesson learned.



Kekipi

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Re: US Nat team season 15
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2021, 01:02:27 AM »
S15 NT Race 6


To my delight and surprise, our captain, Andrew Truex, got third.    Not to dismiss David McDermot's TT victory in stage 4 of S13 (in which I didn't do anything except select him), this was my best result as a NT coach.

I do recall another particularly good result, also surprising and lucky, when I coached the USA U23s in the old CFF and placed seven or eight in the top 20 of a sprint stage.

Otherwise, Truex's third is a happy, happy result.

How did he do it?   Well I only had one rider going free (Bruce Saucedo).  He's actually a higher ranked gold flat sprinter than Truex (29th to Truex's 33rd).  But Truex has a big advantage experience-wise (+38), so he was to go-to guy this time.   Earlier this season, in S3, I chose Saucedo as the captain because he has a 3-flag wind bonus and it was 3-flag wind stage, and for that one, he came in 12th.   This time, Saucedo did not fare nearly as well, finishing 51st @ :24.

Regarding Truex, he had help in all the preliminary sections, including the critical 4th, where, in the greatly reduced lead group of 23, he rode in the slipstream of his lone surviving teammate, Chester Yellowhair (shown below at the team after-party).  This was undoubtedly the key to Truex's podium place.


Way to go Chester!
« Last Edit: March 15, 2021, 09:37:15 AM by Kekipi »

Kekipi

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Re: US Nat team season 15
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2021, 12:31:13 AM »
Current Team USA overall rankings, S15, season end



*Gold ranked riders are highlighted in yellow.
**No GVs for Tour Riders because I have not taken the time to look for or come up with a formula

Current Team USA U24 rankings, S15, season end



Current Team USA U20 rankings, S15, season end


« Last Edit: March 20, 2021, 05:38:46 AM by Kekipi »

Vos

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Re: US Nat team season 15
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2021, 07:47:46 AM »
Great lists, Kekipi !  8)
The future in NT hills races looks very bright for the USA ;
the just 23yo Gilbert Workman is already the number 4 in the golden hills ranking, and the 3rd best pure hills specialist of CFF.
And with 9 more fast trainings to go, maybe he will be ranked even higher at the end of this season. Impressive ! :o

Kekipi

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Re: US Nat team season 15
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2021, 01:16:59 AM »
Great lists, Kekipi !  8)
The future in NT hills races looks very bright for the USA ;
the just 23yo Gilbert Workman is already the number 4 in the golden hills ranking, and the 3rd best pure hills specialist of CFF.
And with 9 more fast trainings to go, maybe he will be ranked even higher at the end of this season. Impressive ! :o
Thanks, Vos.

Yes, Workman is a good one.   He'll certainly be the captain in future NT hills races.

Another upcoming hiller is 21 year old  Paul Vince.  He should be golden at some point in this 23rd year.