The ideas behind going to a conventional interval training block after the ME black is:
The ME training provides a base of support for the more globally taxing intervals. The ME builds fatigue resistance in the legs so that the athlete can get more out of the intervals that come later. If the legs fatigue in an interval session then after the fatigue sets in the global load, the muscle fiber recruitment and hence the training effect of the workout will be reduced. SO we make the legs less likely to fatigue before we do the intervals.
The reason for the intervals is that we do want to boost the anaerobic threshold. And they have a high ME component so they maintain the gains made during the ME block while shifting to more race specific training (More than ME).
Luke did a 4 week taper before the TdG so plenty of time to recover. Yes, this event is competed at well below the aerobic threshold. But the prior training include prodigious amounts of Z1-2 volume and we’ve had very good results with capping the pre comp training with intensity.