Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dauphine Libere 2010 stage 4 time gap analysis

In stage 4 of the Dauphine Libere today, Danny Pate (Garmin-Transitions) and Stephan Denifl (Cervelo) escaped 30 km into the stage and by km 78 they had an impressive gap of 6:10, according to the CyclingNews live report.

stage profile
They arrived together at the bottom of the terminal climb to Risoul, a "beyond category" climb. Watching Eurosport on my laptop, I tracked the time gaps to the main field. I subtracted reported distances by 200 meters based on the evidence of riders crossing under banners.

One thing to understand on time gaps is the gaps obviously can't be calculated into the main field passes a fixed point on the course, but the gap is reported for the distance remaining for the leaders. Despite this asynchronicity, it's still interesting to track time gaps to see the chances the break has of staying away.

time gapsTime gaps for stage 4 of the Dauphine Libere for the two leaders

Initially it didn't look so good, as they were losing time pretty much at a rate which would have them caught around 3.5 km from the finish. They had to do better.

Instead, the rate the gap closed started to increase even faster. They were fading, and were doomed.

But it turned out only Danny Pate was fading, as Stephan Denifl was able to pull away, holding an approximate two minute gap to the field. The announcers declared Pate had dropped his pace, but from the time gaps alone there is no evidence for this. The few time gaps available for Pate once he'd been dropped show him continuing to lose ground at the rate he and Stephen had been losing when they'd been together. So Pate didn't slow relative to the field; Denifl increased his pace to match that of the field.

Finally, though, whether Denifl's pace slowed or because of attacks starting from the field, Denifl's gap began to implode. Finally Eurosport stopped reporting gaps at all, since the field began to shatter, removing the reference point of the "peloton".

Denifl was finally caught by a shredded field at 2.4 km to go (2.6 km on the screen). He lasted 1100 meters longer than that original projection.

Nice job by Danny Pate and Stephen Denifl being out ahead of the field for an amazing 185 kilometers.

1 comment:

MikeCreed said...

hey bud, can you email me? I want to ask you a tt question.