10 years in, verdict on the new Flanders route?

rick_chasey
rick_chasey Posts: 73,172
It is not an improvement as far as I am concerned.

The OK Paterberg combo multiple times plus the really tough final 50km is just a bit too hard for me.

The race is almost exclusively won by one of the strongest 2 or 3 riders in the race.

It does not have that fine balance the previous course had where you could get a solo finish or 12 together.

That final 12km run in is no longer a sort of purist game theory in cycling run in - the selection is made and whoever is left over needs to get to the finish.

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Comments

  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,406
    Not sure I can really remember. The lack of a proper Muur is still a blackspot on the cycling calender but I've had a lot of fun watching this route...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,406
    edited April 2022
    However, from my rubbish memory...


    2012 Tom Boonen Omega
    2013 Fabian Cancellara
    2014 Fabian Cancellara - One of these was a group of 3, I was at 400 to go...
    2015 Alexander Kristoff - small group (kid 🥰)
    2016 Peter Sagan - Solo
    2017 Philippe Gilbert - Solo
    2018 Niki Terpstra - Solo
    2019 Alberto Bettiol - Solo
    2020 Mathieu van der Poel - Group of 2
    2021 Kasper Asgreen - Group of 2
    2022 Mathieu van der Poel - Group of 2
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 41,088
    ddraver said:

    However, from my rubbish memory...


    2012 Tom Boonen Omega
    2013 Fabian Cancellara
    2014 Fabian Cancellara - One of these was a group of 3, I was at 400 to go...
    2015 Alexander Kristoff - small group (kid 🥰)
    2016 Peter Sagan - Solo
    2017 Philippe Gilbert - Solo
    2018 Niki Terpstra - Solo
    2019 Alberto Bettiol - Solo
    2020 Mathieu van der Poel - Group of 2
    2021 Kasper Asgreen - Group of 2
    2022 Mathieu van der Poel - Group of 2

    2022, group of 2 where the second rider in the group came 4th!
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,406
    Goddam, I meant to write "2 then suddenly 4"...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • andyrac
    andyrac Posts: 1,137
    I think this new route is undoubtedly harder; is that a good thing? And I don't actually like the 12 km flat run in after the Paterberg.

    Not having the Muur, then Bosberg is a big miss, but $$$$$$ talks, and Oudenarde is the finish for a while.
    All Road/ Gravel: tbcWinter: tbcMTB: tbcRoad: tbc"Look at the time...." "he's fallen like an old lady on a cruise ship..."
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,406
    I must say the 12km flat run in during the RVV Sportive is one of my favourite cycling experiences. I will never play rugby at Twickenham etc but to be sucked along at 60kph in a massive peloton - hanging on by my fingernails - I can do....
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • blazing_saddles
    blazing_saddles Posts: 21,922
    andyrac said:

    I think this new route is undoubtedly harder; is that a good thing? And I don't actually like the 12 km flat run in after the Paterberg.

    Not having the Muur, then Bosberg is a big miss, but $$$$$$ talks, and Oudenarde is the finish for a while.

    There was a 12km run in after the Bosberg too.

    I like bits of both routes, if that's OK. Certainly preferred the Taaienberg earlier in proceedings.
    Just to refresh folks memories.


    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • andyp
    andyp Posts: 10,171
    I prefer the new route. The old route always had a lull in the action between the Tenbosse and the Muur, that took the excitement out of the race too often. The new route has a much better last hour of racing and the "will they, won't they" of that 13 km run in to Oudenaarde is usually compelling viewing.
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,761
    I like the new route but can't really remember the old. As a race for me it delivers more often than not.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,172
    andyp said:

    I prefer the new route. The old route always had a lull in the action between the Tenbosse and the Muur, that took the excitement out of the race too often. The new route has a much better last hour of racing and the "will they, won't they" of that 13 km run in to Oudenaarde is usually compelling viewing.

    I know what you mean, but I can't really think of a Ronde in the last 10 years where the strongest 2 or 3 riders didn't contest the win.

    That for me is a little too hard - you'll never get a Nuyens win like we did in 2011, for example.
  • blazing_saddles
    blazing_saddles Posts: 21,922

    andyp said:

    I prefer the new route. The old route always had a lull in the action between the Tenbosse and the Muur, that took the excitement out of the race too often. The new route has a much better last hour of racing and the "will they, won't they" of that 13 km run in to Oudenaarde is usually compelling viewing.

    I know what you mean, but I can't really think of a Ronde in the last 10 years where the strongest 2 or 3 riders didn't contest the win.

    That for me is a little too hard - you'll never get a Nuyens win like we did in 2011, for example.
    Alberto Bettiol?
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,406
    Rick has a point that the answer to will they/won't they on this course is always that the chase stays away.

    Until yesterday, I can't remember a catch, and I'm not sure yesterday really counts...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,172

    andyp said:

    I prefer the new route. The old route always had a lull in the action between the Tenbosse and the Muur, that took the excitement out of the race too often. The new route has a much better last hour of racing and the "will they, won't they" of that 13 km run in to Oudenaarde is usually compelling viewing.

    I know what you mean, but I can't really think of a Ronde in the last 10 years where the strongest 2 or 3 riders didn't contest the win.

    That for me is a little too hard - you'll never get a Nuyens win like we did in 2011, for example.
    Alberto Bettiol?
    I'd contend no-one could follow his attack and he was strongest on the day.
  • blazing_saddles
    blazing_saddles Posts: 21,922
    edited April 2022

    andyp said:

    I prefer the new route. The old route always had a lull in the action between the Tenbosse and the Muur, that took the excitement out of the race too often. The new route has a much better last hour of racing and the "will they, won't they" of that 13 km run in to Oudenaarde is usually compelling viewing.

    I know what you mean, but I can't really think of a Ronde in the last 10 years where the strongest 2 or 3 riders didn't contest the win.

    That for me is a little too hard - you'll never get a Nuyens win like we did in 2011, for example.
    Alberto Bettiol?
    I'd contend no-one could follow his attack and he was strongest on the day.
    Kristoff then.
    Since MvDP has won 2 of the last 3 editions an argument can be made for Asgreen not being the strongest if that is your rather strange criteria.

    Heck it almost happened yesterday.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,172
    I also don't like loops in races generally.
  • blazing_saddles
    blazing_saddles Posts: 21,922

    I also don't like loops in races generally.

    I would agree in general, although there are exceptions. Le Samyn is usually a brilliant race because of it’s loop.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,521
    edited April 2022

    andyp said:

    I prefer the new route. The old route always had a lull in the action between the Tenbosse and the Muur, that took the excitement out of the race too often. The new route has a much better last hour of racing and the "will they, won't they" of that 13 km run in to Oudenaarde is usually compelling viewing.

    I know what you mean, but I can't really think of a Ronde in the last 10 years where the strongest 2 or 3 riders didn't contest the win.

    That for me is a little too hard - you'll never get a Nuyens win like we did in 2011, for example.
    Alberto Bettiol?
    I'd contend no-one could follow his attack and he was strongest on the day.
    If you define "strongest rider" as "won the race", then the strongest rider will always be contending for the race.

    If he was the strongest rider in that field, he'd have won some other races.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,172

    andyp said:

    I prefer the new route. The old route always had a lull in the action between the Tenbosse and the Muur, that took the excitement out of the race too often. The new route has a much better last hour of racing and the "will they, won't they" of that 13 km run in to Oudenaarde is usually compelling viewing.

    I know what you mean, but I can't really think of a Ronde in the last 10 years where the strongest 2 or 3 riders didn't contest the win.

    That for me is a little too hard - you'll never get a Nuyens win like we did in 2011, for example.
    Alberto Bettiol?
    I'd contend no-one could follow his attack and he was strongest on the day.
    If you define "strongest rider" as "won the race", then the strongest rider will always be contending for the race.

    If he was the strongest rider in that field, he'd have won some other races.
    Mmm if he'd attacked and no-one chased but had the legs to, then that's a tactical win.

    I'm saying no-one could follow him on the OK
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,521

    andyp said:

    I prefer the new route. The old route always had a lull in the action between the Tenbosse and the Muur, that took the excitement out of the race too often. The new route has a much better last hour of racing and the "will they, won't they" of that 13 km run in to Oudenaarde is usually compelling viewing.

    I know what you mean, but I can't really think of a Ronde in the last 10 years where the strongest 2 or 3 riders didn't contest the win.

    That for me is a little too hard - you'll never get a Nuyens win like we did in 2011, for example.
    Alberto Bettiol?
    I'd contend no-one could follow his attack and he was strongest on the day.
    If you define "strongest rider" as "won the race", then the strongest rider will always be contending for the race.

    If he was the strongest rider in that field, he'd have won some other races.
    Mmm if he'd attacked and no-one chased but had the legs to, then that's a tactical win.

    I'm saying no-one could follow him on the OK
    Which means that after 250km of racing that day, he was the strongest of who was in that group. Is that necessarily the same as being the strongest rider in the race?
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,172

    andyp said:

    I prefer the new route. The old route always had a lull in the action between the Tenbosse and the Muur, that took the excitement out of the race too often. The new route has a much better last hour of racing and the "will they, won't they" of that 13 km run in to Oudenaarde is usually compelling viewing.

    I know what you mean, but I can't really think of a Ronde in the last 10 years where the strongest 2 or 3 riders didn't contest the win.

    That for me is a little too hard - you'll never get a Nuyens win like we did in 2011, for example.
    Alberto Bettiol?
    I'd contend no-one could follow his attack and he was strongest on the day.
    If you define "strongest rider" as "won the race", then the strongest rider will always be contending for the race.

    If he was the strongest rider in that field, he'd have won some other races.
    Mmm if he'd attacked and no-one chased but had the legs to, then that's a tactical win.

    I'm saying no-one could follow him on the OK
    Which means that after 250km of racing that day, he was the strongest of who was in that group. Is that necessarily the same as being the strongest rider in the race?
    Yeah I'd say so.

  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,521

    andyp said:

    I prefer the new route. The old route always had a lull in the action between the Tenbosse and the Muur, that took the excitement out of the race too often. The new route has a much better last hour of racing and the "will they, won't they" of that 13 km run in to Oudenaarde is usually compelling viewing.

    I know what you mean, but I can't really think of a Ronde in the last 10 years where the strongest 2 or 3 riders didn't contest the win.

    That for me is a little too hard - you'll never get a Nuyens win like we did in 2011, for example.
    Alberto Bettiol?
    I'd contend no-one could follow his attack and he was strongest on the day.
    If you define "strongest rider" as "won the race", then the strongest rider will always be contending for the race.

    If he was the strongest rider in that field, he'd have won some other races.
    Mmm if he'd attacked and no-one chased but had the legs to, then that's a tactical win.

    I'm saying no-one could follow him on the OK
    Which means that after 250km of racing that day, he was the strongest of who was in that group. Is that necessarily the same as being the strongest rider in the race?
    Yeah I'd say so.

    MvdP was pretty strong that day.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,172
    Tried to follow him but couldn't though.
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,521

    Tried to follow him but couldn't though.

    That's my point. The way the race developed (especially for him) meant that even strong riders had used up their energy by that point, and could not go with someone who had not.

    If you determine the strongest rider by finishing position, then the strongest rider will always be contending for the win.
  • blazing_saddles
    blazing_saddles Posts: 21,922
    It’s all irrelevant in any case.
    As I pointed out, Kristoff has won on this course.
    No way would he be considered the strongest, especially over the climbs.
    His forte is being extremely durable.

    Blows the Nuyens theory, whatever that actually is, out of the water.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 41,088
    ....
  • 50x11
    50x11 Posts: 408
    So you think it's too hard and the strongest rider wins? Isn't this the way the classics should be? Also Ddravvers post shows you're talking poop anyway, multiple solo wins in last 10 years.
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,521
    It's just relentlessly attritional, which is great.

    The last attack doesn't come back because everyone is knackered. It's not like the last group is the remnants of the early break.

    I think it's good, and the flat last 12km are excellent.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,172
    edited April 2022

    Tried to follow him but couldn't though.

    That's my point. The way the race developed (especially for him) meant that even strong riders had used up their energy by that point, and could not go with someone who had not.

    If you determine the strongest rider by finishing position, then the strongest rider will always be contending for the win.
    Eh?

    Re-read what I've written.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,172
    edited April 2022
    50x11 said:

    So you think it's too hard and the strongest rider wins? Isn't this the way the classics should be? Also Ddravvers post shows you're talking poop anyway, multiple solo wins in last 10 years.

    Mmm i dunno.

    MSR is certainly not always about the strongest rider by any stretch.

    I guess what I'm trying to say, imagine knowing at the start line exactly who's gonna be the strongest riders, in order, on that day.

    The old route, I'd say anyone in that top 15 strongest on the day could have a realistic chance to win.

    On this route, I'd say it's only really the top 3 save for crashes or bad luck.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,172

    It’s all irrelevant in any case.
    As I pointed out, Kristoff has won on this course.
    No way would he be considered the strongest, especially over the climbs.
    His forte is being extremely durable.

    Blows the Nuyens theory, whatever that actually is, out of the water.

    Eh? Kristoff was in a different league to everyone that year for that whole fortnight.

    He shook everyone bar Terpstra off and rinsed him in the sprint.