Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Petacchi takes sprint 2

It had to happen. After a luckless 2006 Giro, breaking his kneecap, Alessandro is finally back to the big time, winding his 53x11 up in his typical 'none-shall-pass' way. It's not the prettiest sprint but it's darned effective. McEwen was 4th this time.

Just to comment briefly on sprinters, there are more ways than one way to skin a cat, so to speak. You can wind up a huge gear behind a train of riders - like Petacchi usually does, although today's parcours didn't suit that approach - and take the risk that you (a) will fade and get rolled at the line or (b) that you aren't as strong as you thought you were and just can't accelerate that huge gear, in which case you get jumped or rolled anyway; or you can rely on rat cunning, sit in and spin a bit more, and either roll the power guys at the end or use your better kick to jump 'em and gap 'em a little earlier on. Of course it's more complex than that as different roads and obstacles arise that may derail your train, or someone else will jump first and gap you. And even a small rise will feel like a leg-snapper in 53x11. You can train to your strengths, like Petacchi, and organise a power train to bring you up to speed, but it's also good to have a range of tricks up your sleeve and be adaptable, because anything may happen in a sprint. And lastly, you have to train both for power and kick. Today Petacchi proved he had that grab-bag of tricks and had done the training. He also had the luck of someone who took a bit of a chance and just went for it...

No comments: