Sunday, May 4, 2008

Liege '08, 10 K to go

Here's a very interesting move I watched on TV last week. Its one of a kind because it involves two brothers on the same team working for each other. Watch.

At 261 kms and with a road profile that'll make the jaws of a shark look poor, this race is not for the weak.

With 10K to go, the younger of the Schlek brothers, Andy on the CSC team attacks the other trio consisting of the magnificent Rebellin, the cunning Valverde and his older brother, the temperamental Frank.

Frank lets Andy go because the brothers have devised a 1-2 move. Frank will sit in and do no work while the other two give everything they've got to bridge the gap. Andy is only too ready to put it on the line for Frank, who missed his chance at the Liege in 2007 when he finished third.

The move goes as planned. When the two catch Andy (not shown in the video above), the older brother counter-attacks. The oldest trick in the book!

Unfortunately, Rebelling is only too wiser and gets onto Frank's wheel taking Valverde with him. Andy is expended and drops. Now its 3 of the best cyclists in the world waiting for that perfect time to make the move. Everyone's watching each other and there is nervous energy in the air. What happens then brings out the obvious : The best sprinter always wins! Behind them, a hopeless Andy crosses the line.

Frank had not even tried in the end and it was a shame. I hear that he got into a verbal argument with some spectator after the race! Whats new?

This is the substance of bike racing that makes it truly wonderful to watch and participate in. Hopefully we can analyze more tactics like this in future using actual race footage that'll serve as good visual case studies.

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