Tour de France: Danilo Hondo reveals Lampre sprint tactics
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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Tour de France: Danilo Hondo reveals Lampre sprint tactics

by Jered Gruber at 2:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Hondo's late attack/early sprint was planned on the bus

It's hard not to look back at the Tour de France's first bunch sprint with all of the at least passably healthy favorites involved and not think about the work done by Alessandro Petacchi's Lampre-Farnese team. HTC-Columbia gets the big credit for putting in the lion's share of the work, but Lampre put in several smart efforts that put HTC-Columbia under pressure and opened the door for Alessandro Petacchi's second stage win at this year's Tour de France.

Petacchi's leadout man, Danilo Hondo, admitted afterwards that everything they did was part of the plan they came up with before the stage.

"We came up with a tactic in the bus. We wanted to make it faster in the final kilometers to put Columbia under more pressure. That went well."

The first part of the plan was complete, but the second and final move was to be the decider. HTC-Columbia looked to have the leadout perfectly in hand, but then the figure of Danilo Hondo shot out from behind the HTC train. The move didn't amount to anything, but the pace lifted, HTC was put under pressure, and half a breath later, Ale-Jet was cleared for take off.

Hondo confirms the plan: "As they started to slow, Petacchi gave me a sign that I should feint a sprint, so as to up the tempo again. I felt good and it worked. Petacchi needs a high tempo at the end of the race to win."

Hondo's words prove to be an insight into the talks that must be going through all of the teams as they look to keep down the HTC winning machine of 2009, Mark Cavendish.

The two sprinters have combined to form a perfect, if unlikely, sprinting duo. Hondo has been an integral part of Petacchi's resurgence and nowhere was that more evident than in Stage 4's victory. The duo's strong pairing can possibly be linked to a two day period 36 years ago. Hondo and Petacchi were born one day apart in 1974. Petacchi was born on January 3rd in La Spezia, Italy, while Hondo was born one day later and 1300 km to the northeast in Guben, Germany, right on the Polish border.

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