Yes, I think you may indeed be correct.
Either that or Cadel is just trying to ride away from that VERY green skin suit that is assaulting him! ;)
Team BMC’s secret plan
There’s something very intriguing going on at this year’s Tour from the brains trust at Team BMC. Most of the other GC hopefuls had been on message prior to the Tour’s start, saying they planned to stay out of trouble in the first week; and that the fireworks wouldn’t really start until Stage 12 to Luz-Ardiden. Other than some idle chat about opportunities for echelons along the coastal stages of the first week, the likes of Team Sky, Rabobank and Leopard Trek were mostly planning to keep their powder dry. Not Cadel Evans and John Lelangue - they’re up to something.
The brilliantly taken 2nd on Stage 1 by Cadel Evans where he stole a few precious seconds from his rivals got me thinking yesterday. The opportunistic way he raced and the way his team kept him out of trouble ahead of the sprint up the 2km finishing incline showed absolute premeditation. A carefully considered plan executed almost perfectly - only denied by the brilliance of Gilbert who was executing his own perfect plan.
Equally, the fantastic ride by Team BMC into 2nd on the Stage 2 TTT resonated in a similar way. “We’ve been quietly working away, doing our homework and keeping at it,” Evans said after the finish. “Our first goal was not to lose any time and our second goal was to actually gain time. The fact that we were actually there, nearly in the running for the win, was really something.”
There’s a pattern here. In fact it’s more than a pattern - it’s a theory. It’s the theory of the ‘aggregation of marginal gains’. It’s a theory that David Brailsford has very successfully used to great success with the Great Britain Track Team and is at the centre of his plans to turn Brad Wiggins into a Grand Tour winner. Only this year, it looks like John Lelangue and Team BMC may have stolen a march on the British super coach.
Interesting. Very interesting indeed.