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Classics contenders

Yellow PerilYellow Peril Posts: 4,466
edited March 2014 in Pro race
Not wishing to get ahead of myself but at the same time a little giddy as racing has now kicked off who are likely contenders for the classics.

I think it's fair to say you have to be showing reasonable form around now and I'd obviously throw Stybar into the P-R mix after his awesome display of power at the world CX champs. I'm not so sure about MSR anymore as I 'm not sure as to the full effect of the course shanges. Has it moved closer still to the multi talents such as Sagan?

I'm quite excited!
@JaunePeril

Winner of the Bike Radar Pro Race Wiggins Hour Prediction Competition
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Posts

  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 53,381 Lives Here
    Sagan could win all 3 flat races tbh.
  • Stybar isn't going to get a shot at PR outside of the Chavenel role as long as Boonen is in reasonable nick.
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • I know he's not popular in these parts but Gerrans would be my pick for MSR ... He's most able to hang onto an attack on a short-ish climb of all the rouleur sprinters ...
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,532
    I'm not saying he'll win but I think Alexander Kristoff will emerge as a proper contender.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • I know he's not popular in these parts but Gerrans would be my pick for MSR ... He's most able to hang onto an attack on a short-ish climb of all the rouleur sprinters ...

    That's a good call. He's in good nick at the moment as well...as long as there is no weather travesty this year.

    I think Stybar's CX form puts tom under a bit of pressure to ensure that he is firing on all cylinders unless TB specifically targets RVV and allows Stybar a free reign for P-R. It would make sense to maximise your assets and OPQS have an abundance of talent capable of winning these races.

    I'm starting to wonder whether Sagan will become the nearly man for the classics. He is/was such a precocious talent it seems he has been marked out of the game more than most riders the last couple of years.
    @JaunePeril

    Winner of the Bike Radar Pro Race Wiggins Hour Prediction Competition
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 53,381 Lives Here
    I know he's not popular in these parts but Gerrans would be my pick for MSR ... He's most able to hang onto an attack on a short-ish climb of all the rouleur sprinters ...

    Apart from Sagan.
  • dish_dashdish_dash Posts: 5,025
    I think Stybar's CX form puts tom under a bit of pressure to ensure that he is firing on all cylinders unless TB specifically targets RVV and allows Stybar a free reign for P-R.

    That would seem to be the implication from this CN article http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/gallery ... ers-course
    Stybar’s big focus will be Paris-Roubaix, the weekend after Flanders, but he has been deemed an outsider for de Ronde.
  • Still can't see QS giving Boonen anything less than total support in "his" races. He's the joint all time winner!
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • Still can't see QS giving Boonen anything less than total support in "his" races. He's the joint all time winner!


    Agree - Stybar bound to be Plan B
  • dish_dashdish_dash Posts: 5,025
    I tend to agree that Boonen gets first dibs. But with Stybar and Keisse OPQS have back up options...

    No mention of Spartacus yet. Wonder how he's going to perform. Had a rough winter (hit by a car and missed some training). Presumably the desert tours will see him come into form too... maybe more motivated this year with the 'new' Trek sponsorship?

    Comparatively, how does Cannondale stack up against the big classic teams. I'm trying to get a sense of how much support Sagan might get, vs a Boonen/Canc.
  • dish_dash wrote:
    I tend to agree that Boonen gets first dibs. But with Stybar and Keisse OPQS have back up options...

    No mention of Spartacus yet. Wonder how he's going to perform. Had a rough winter (hit by a car and missed some training). Presumably the desert tours will see him come into form too... maybe more motivated this year with the 'new' Trek sponsorship?

    Comparatively, how does Cannondale stack up against the big classic teams. I'm trying to get a sense of how much support Sagan might get, vs a Boonen/Canc.

    Poorly
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • I know he's not popular in these parts but Gerrans would be my pick for MSR ... He's most able to hang onto an attack on a short-ish climb of all the rouleur sprinters ...

    Apart from Sagan.

    If a Nibali style group still have enough to go full gas Sagan will struggle more than Gerrans to stick with it ... Like always with the classics though, stamina/form plays a huge part in the final selection ...
  • EKIMIKEEKIMIKE Posts: 2,232
    It's about time we saw Boonen and Cancellara go head-to-head, both in top form. If i'm not mistaken, it's not happened since Cancellara destroyed Boonen on the Muur and that was a pre-rejuvination Boonen. I'm definitely looking forward to this (if it happens)!

    If Sagan - or anyone else for that matter - can stick with them, it would be a bonus.
  • Paulie WPaulie W Posts: 1,492
    EKIMIKE wrote:
    It's about time we saw Boonen and Cancellara go head-to-head, both in top form. If i'm not mistaken, it's not happened since Cancellara destroyed Boonen on the Muur and that was a pre-rejuvination Boonen. I'm definitely looking forward to this (if it happens)!

    If Sagan - or anyone else for that matter - can stick with them, it would be a bonus.

    Does anyone really believe that a top-form Boonen is a match for a top-form Canc head to head? I think OPQS may have the team to make it hard for Canc but if it comes down to those two Canc wins every time in my view.
  • EKIMIKEEKIMIKE Posts: 2,232
    Boonen in 2012 P-R form...

    Although I think in the case of Flanders I would agree with you that it swings in Cance's favour on the Hellingen. P-R I think it swing towards Boonen with his fast finish.
  • EKIMIKEEKIMIKE Posts: 2,232
    Also thinking Vanmarcke has had a quiet winter. Definite wildcard on the cobbles.
  • Is Rui Costa down to do MSR? If so he may have a shout.
  • MartinGTMartinGT Posts: 475
    I am going over to watch the RvV, cannot wait! My fave one day of the season.
  • Is Rui Costa down to do MSR? If so he may have a shout.

    Or his team mate, Ulissi (given the harder course). Ulissi could have quite a big year.

    My tip for PR would be Boonen, partly because OPQS is just ridiculously strong for that race. For the same reason, Boonen really shouldn't be 8/1 for Flanders (when Canc is 5/2).

    All that said, Sagan is now a year older and was unlucky to podium so much in the classics only winning won. I'd go for him at MSR and Flanders. Can't wait!
  • Still can't see QS giving Boonen anything less than total support in "his" races. He's the joint all time winner!


    Agree - Stybar bound to be Plan B


    mmmh Plan B sounds really bad perhaps A-. I think Stybar's CX performance does put TB under a bit of pressure. Yes TB is a Belgian legend but if he isn't firing on all cylinders I'm sure that OPQS will throw their hand in with ZS for P-R.

    Boonen/canc head to head would be brilliant but Boonen's death on the Muur and getting caught napping in P-R that time when Canc rode away must be there in the back of his mind.
    @JaunePeril

    Winner of the Bike Radar Pro Race Wiggins Hour Prediction Competition
  • MartinGTMartinGT Posts: 475
    Still can't see QS giving Boonen anything less than total support in "his" races. He's the joint all time winner!


    Agree - Stybar bound to be Plan B


    mmmh Plan B sounds really bad perhaps A-. I think Stybar's CX performance does put TB under a bit of pressure. Yes TB is a Belgian legend but if he isn't firing on all cylinders I'm sure that OPQS will throw their hand in with ZS for P-R.

    Boonen/canc head to head would be brilliant but Boonen's death on the Muur and getting caught napping in P-R that time when Canc rode away must be there in the back of his mind.

    I wouldnt read too much into the CX performance IMO. RvV is still what 8 weeks away. Can Stybar cope with a drop in form and aim to raise again for RvV or PR? I dont think so.
  • Paulie WPaulie W Posts: 1,492
    edited February 2014
    MartinGT wrote:
    Still can't see QS giving Boonen anything less than total support in "his" races. He's the joint all time winner!


    Agree - Stybar bound to be Plan B


    mmmh Plan B sounds really bad perhaps A-. I think Stybar's CX performance does put TB under a bit of pressure. Yes TB is a Belgian legend but if he isn't firing on all cylinders I'm sure that OPQS will throw their hand in with ZS for P-R.

    Boonen/canc head to head would be brilliant but Boonen's death on the Muur and getting caught napping in P-R that time when Canc rode away must be there in the back of his mind.

    I wouldnt read too much into the CX performance IMO. RvV is still what 8 weeks away. Can Stybar cope with a drop in form and aim to raise again for RvV or PR? I dont think so.

    Why would there be a drop in form? The CX was part of his preperation so there's no suggestion he was seeking to peak for it is there?
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,532
    MartinGT wrote:
    I wouldnt read too much into the CX performance IMO. RvV is still what 8 weeks away. Can Stybar cope with a drop in form and aim to raise again for RvV or PR? I dont think so.
    Why would his form drop that much? People in other sports don't seem to have much problem putting in a good performance fairly regularly. As long as he is rested enough he should be OK. The idea of huge swings in form and peaks and troughs is a relic for the EPO/blood doping era.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • MartinGT wrote:
    Still can't see QS giving Boonen anything less than total support in "his" races. He's the joint all time winner!


    Agree - Stybar bound to be Plan B


    mmmh Plan B sounds really bad perhaps A-. I think Stybar's CX performance does put TB under a bit of pressure. Yes TB is a Belgian legend but if he isn't firing on all cylinders I'm sure that OPQS will throw their hand in with ZS for P-R.

    Boonen/canc head to head would be brilliant but Boonen's death on the Muur and getting caught napping in P-R that time when Canc rode away must be there in the back of his mind.

    I wouldnt read too much into the CX performance IMO. RvV is still what 8 weeks away. Can Stybar cope with a drop in form and aim to raise again for RvV or PR? I dont think so.

    I have pondered the sustaining of form issue. I'm sure it's possible as long as not much is expected from him beyond that. I can't picture him doing as well in the RVV whereas the brutal nature of P-R is definitely him (if he can overhaul Cancellara) Mind you a world title and a result in the Queen of the Classics would see me heading for the beech for the rest of the season.
    @JaunePeril

    Winner of the Bike Radar Pro Race Wiggins Hour Prediction Competition
  • MartinGTMartinGT Posts: 475
    To hold your form for 8 weeks is a pretty hard ask IMO.

    I hope I am wrong like, I think Stybar is an exciting rider and was mixing it up in the early classics last season.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,532
    MartinGT wrote:
    To hold your form for 8 weeks is a pretty hard ask IMO.
    He doesn't have to hold his form for all eight weeks. He just has to be on form on two occasions eight weeks apart.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • Still can't see QS giving Boonen anything less than total support in "his" races. He's the joint all time winner!


    Agree - Stybar bound to be Plan B


    mmmh Plan B sounds really bad perhaps A-. I think Stybar's CX performance does put TB under a bit of pressure. Yes TB is a Belgian legend but if he isn't firing on all cylinders I'm sure that OPQS will throw their hand in with ZS for P-R.

    Boonen/canc head to head would be brilliant but Boonen's death on the Muur and getting caught napping in P-R that time when Canc rode away must be there in the back of his mind.

    Look at last year, even with Boonen going like a sack of spanners he started Flanders as the undisputed leader and would have started Roubaix the same. He's only 33, he's won 4 PRs, Stybar has had one good ride in it and still has his best years ahead of him in an event that rewards experience.

    I can only see Styby riding the Chavanel role this year to take the pressure off Boonen and force others to chase.
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 11,990
    I know Stybar got himself into a good position at last year's P-R, however, he didn't look like winning. If Cancellera had had the crash instead, I suspect he would have got himself back into the leading group.
  • Paulie WPaulie W Posts: 1,492
    TheBigBean wrote:
    I know Stybar got himself into a good position at last year's P-R, however, he didn't look like winning. If Cancellera had had the crash instead, I suspect he would have got himself back into the leading group.

    Really, he looked pretty strong to me - that he couldnt get back on with Canc going all out is hardly surprising. I fancy he may have got Canc in the sprint.
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,399
    dish_dash wrote:
    I tend to agree that Boonen gets first dibs. But with Stybar and Keisse OPQS have back up options...
    Keisse? Surely you'd rank Terpstra, Steegmans and Vandenbergh ahead of Keisse in the cobbled classics? Does Keisse even make the team for the Ronde?
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