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Ronde Van Vlaanderen discussion

Yellow PerilYellow Peril Posts: 4,466
edited April 2014 in Pro race
As this is such an important classic I thought a discussion page would be worthy.

Stannard out of this and P-R. A bitter blow for the team.
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  • milton50milton50 Posts: 3,856
    Really disappointed that we wont see Stannard.

    I'll put my cards on the table now. No one will touch Spartacus in Flanders.
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 16,674
    Dave (Dim) ‏@dimspace · 10m
    Meanwhile the Paris Roubaix cobbles issue a statement expressing their relief that Stan wont be riding over them this spring.
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  • Yellow PerilYellow Peril Posts: 4,466
    He can certainly ride most people off his wheel. I wonder though whether OPQS's one day team is too strong for him to take on.
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  • andypandyp Posts: 8,709
    The key question is how will the route changes affect the racing? The last two editions have seen relatively negative racing as no-one quite knew how to ride the finishing circuit. With the Koppenberg coming just 45 kilometres from the end, and then a quick succession of 3 climbs before the Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg finale, it could see a select group from much earlier than previously.

    Let's hope so.
  • frenchfighterfrenchfighter Posts: 30,642
    Indeed lets hope so. Anything other than an amazing display of racing prowess in these category of races is a failure imo.

    Very annoying re Stannard - I bet no one is more upset than him though.
    Contador is the Greatest
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,312
    Shame about Stannard, not just because he's a Brit but he's always good value and he knows he can't leave it to a sprint and rides accordingly.

    Will Cancellera go for another long one or will his second at MSR give im confidence he can take on Boonen et al in a sprint ? I think probably a long one but my money is on Quickstep taking this one.
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  • frenchfighterfrenchfighter Posts: 30,642
    Personally I think Cancellara would rather not win in a bunch sprint. Given his palmares I think they way he wins now is what matters more to him.
    Contador is the Greatest
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,192
    Personally I think Cancellara would rather not win in a bunch sprint. Given his palmares I think they way he wins now is what matters more to him.

    He certainly didn't look like he was trying to win the bunch sprint in MSR. Looked positively relieved not to have sullied his reputation with anything quite so crass.
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

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  • Yellow PerilYellow Peril Posts: 4,466
    Shame about Stannard, not just because he's a Brit but he's always good value and he knows he can't leave it to a sprint and rides accordingly.

    Will Cancellera go for another long one or will his second at MSR give im confidence he can take on Boonen et al in a sprint ? I think probably a long one but my money is on Quickstep taking this one.

    why risk it, he's successfully ridden both Boonen and Sagan off his wheel. He looked strong at E3 and was still there at the end in MSR. I think he'll go for his trademark killer-drop. I sense OPQS will be there in numbers though.

    Of course I'm backing Belkin so it's Sep Vanmarcke for me.
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  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,678
    I think recently it's been shown on the bumps Sagan can be ridden of a wheel easier than some of the other favorites, Thomas did it the other day, the danger with him is his sprint is better than the rest of them, so no one will want to get to 1km to go with him on the wheel which means exciting racing.


    I'm really looking forward to this, I go out on tour the day after so will miss PR. This hopefully will be the really exciting one.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,368 Lives Here
    Personally think this is a year where a non-favourite will win.

    Should certainly all keep an eye out for Devolder...
  • Yellow PerilYellow Peril Posts: 4,466
    Personally think this is a year where a non-favourite will win.

    Should certainly all keep an eye out for Devolder...

    I would agree, the recent spread of one day results shows it to be an open year. Devolder buried himself in the E3, he worked like a dog, he has form.
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  • cal_stewartcal_stewart Posts: 1,840
    Devolder will no doubt be put up the road for OPQS to chase down, however if the fav's start watching each other to much. Devolder is a good outside bet with GT.
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  • andypandyp Posts: 8,709
    Devolder might be held back to work for Cancellara in the final 40 kms again, like he was last year. If any outsider is likely to win then Terpstra may be a better bet.
  • durhamwaspdurhamwasp Posts: 1,239
    The way Cancellara rode in E3, I cant see anybody but him taking it. He knows he can drop people on the Paterberg, and its once again a matter of can anybody hand on to him?

    Think Thomas might get a top-10. GvA as an outside bet.
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  • cal_stewartcal_stewart Posts: 1,840
    GVA always a good steady ptp pick. Think GT will top 5
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  • smithy21smithy21 Posts: 2,204
    ^assuming he stays upright I would agree.
  • hstileshstiles Posts: 414
    I'd put money on Kristoff being on the podium, especially the way he and Paolini are riding at the moment.
  • ProssPross Posts: 29,608
    I've gone for Terpstra, I think he could benefit from everyone watching the big 2.
  • Yellow PerilYellow Peril Posts: 4,466
    hstiles wrote:
    I'd put money on Kristoff being on the podium, especially the way he and Paolini are riding at the moment.

    Paolini is definitely a contender, his beard has had a lot of TV time because he's been there or there abouts at the shakedown. In fact I'd say he's been one of the main spoilers who has been quite heavily marked.
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  • blimblim Posts: 333
    I'm hoping for Boonen, but not expecting it. OPQS will doubtless be the best team, but probably not come away with the win (just like at E3). Cancellara & Sagan are the obvious picks. But Devolder looks a pretty good bet. Hopefully Vanmarcke will do well also.

    I'm just hoping for a good race, now they've shuffled the ending around. The last two years have been dull, and only having great winners has masked the route's faults.
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  • Yellow PerilYellow Peril Posts: 4,466
    blim wrote:
    I'm hoping for Boonen, but not expecting it. OPQS will doubtless be the best team, but probably not come away with the win (just like at E3). Cancellara & Sagan are the obvious picks. But Devolder looks a pretty good bet. Hopefully Vanmarcke will do well also.

    I'm just hoping for a good race, now they've shuffled the ending around. The last two years have been dull, and only having great winners has masked the route's faults.

    You might be right, more in the mix might lead to a Mexican stand off like the end of E3. It could turn in to a track stand competition!
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  • frenchfighterfrenchfighter Posts: 30,642
    FYI, Leuekmans rode DDV, E3 and GW and placed 23rd, 52nd, 46th.
    Contador is the Greatest
  • frenchfighterfrenchfighter Posts: 30,642
    "After I've gone and had a look around the new course, I'll have two days to mull over where I should attack," Paolini told Cyclingnews in De Panne on Tuesday. "That way, I'll have a film in my head beforehand of what I'd like to do, but on Sunday, I'll still have to see how the race is going. There are always unforeseen factors, and you just have to see how your legs are on Sunday morning as well."

    "This year, the parcours is a bit different again, so there might be a chance to get away in a little group," Paolini said. "We'll have to find some way of surprising the big names anyway. If you wait until the moment when they start to attack, then you've already lost the race. They're just too strong, so you have to invent something."

    "It does seem like people wait until the last minute because they're afraid they won't have the energy in the finale," Paolini said of the new finale. "Maybe before there was a bigger scope for attacking earlier because there were more flat roads in the finale, so a good passista could make the difference by attacking from distance."
    Contador is the Greatest
  • CrozzaCrozza Posts: 991
    "We'll have to find some way of surprising the big names anyway. If you wait until the moment when they start to attack, then you've already lost the race. They're just too strong, so you have to invent something."

    someone needs to have a word with Luca about the element of surprise
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,312
    Shame about Stannard, not just because he's a Brit but he's always good value and he knows he can't leave it to a sprint and rides accordingly.

    Will Cancellera go for another long one or will his second at MSR give im confidence he can take on Boonen et al in a sprint ? I think probably a long one but my money is on Quickstep taking this one.

    why risk it, he's successfully ridden both Boonen and Sagan off his wheel. He looked strong at E3 and was still there at the end in MSR. I think he'll go for his trademark killer-drop. I sense OPQS will be there in numbers though.

    Of course I'm backing Belkin so it's Sep Vanmarcke for me.

    Yeah I was thinking of Paris Roubaix but replying on a Flanders thread! I agree he'll try a long one at Flanders, Roubaix I reckon he may be more open to see how it develops.
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  • calvjonescalvjones Posts: 3,850
    After seeing Sagan today I'm not sure Canc will drop him on a hill. Terpstra is no dunce, is in great form and was blowing bubbles trying to keep up... PTP sorted I think
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  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,312
    I haven't seen Cancellera's customary pre classics announcement that he's going to ride everyone off his wheel this year.
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  • Devolder definitely worth keeping an eye on, I think there could be an interesting group with him, a OPQS rider and some other second string contenders.

    Paolini is right that you cant wait for Boonen and Cancellara to go, because then you've already lost, so I think you could see some outsiders trying to make it interesting, especially with some of the horribly narrow roads between the Bergs.

    Gent weather... 20 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. No rain forecast for the weekend.

    I may watch on Sporza, I may go to Oudenaarde... sadly, I wont be in the middle of it as I broke my cycling shoes and my new ones wont be here in time.
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  • andypandyp Posts: 8,709
    Just buy a pair of cheap flat pedals and wear trainers. You won't look out of place, it's Belgium after all.
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