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World Championships Innsbruck 2018

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26 Sep 2017 11:26

Obviously not having mountains doesn't help, but it isn't a decisive factor. It's all about the mentality and investments. The Netherlands had Rabobank who focussed on developping climbers so yeah that's obviously paying off now. Belgium never had something like that. It's changing now though with special camps where young climbing talent gets tested and recruited to train more specifically for the real climbs. Plus Lotto Soudal u23 takes on a more mountanious calender. It's not a coincidence that guys like De Plus, Lambrecht and Vanhoucke have won and are winning those hard races in the u23 category. But ofcourse they need time.
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Re: Re:

26 Sep 2017 12:29

Echoes wrote:
Maaaaaaaarten wrote:You guys have the Ardennes at least. Get good climbers from the Ardennes. :p

We've got Dumoulin, Kelderman, Kruijswijk, Poels, TGBM, Gesink and a decent talent coming up with Oomen and our country is way flatter! Now that I think about it, that'll be a pretty decent squad for next year. There aren't any huge favourites I guess, but there are a few guys in there who could put up a good result. :)


I don't think you necessarily have to come from a mountainous country to be a good climber. Belgium had climbers in the past. The reason why in recent years, we did not have any decent climbers nor even Ardennes riders is that our riders have been trained from early on to race cobbles and short climbs, to race against the wind, to develop technical skills and pack skills on the kermesses (that we managed to preserve). So they are trained to be great on Flemish classics. We tried to make the most of our cobbled climbs. Edwig Van Hooydonck denounced this policy (in the book "De Flandriens", by Canvas in 2011). It seems like it's started to change by now.

I think also now in the era of such specialization it's as much about prioritising something as it is about training. If GVA or Benoot, for example, lost 5+ kg and sacrificed some of their muscle and explosive power they would probably become pretty close to elite climbers immediately, without any other specific training. Like Thomas has done or Dumoulin. But the most talented riders in Belgium prefer to do the classics and have more fun riding than these stick figure climbers.
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Re: Re:

26 Sep 2017 13:28

DFA123 wrote:
Echoes wrote:
Maaaaaaaarten wrote:You guys have the Ardennes at least. Get good climbers from the Ardennes. :p

We've got Dumoulin, Kelderman, Kruijswijk, Poels, TGBM, Gesink and a decent talent coming up with Oomen and our country is way flatter! Now that I think about it, that'll be a pretty decent squad for next year. There aren't any huge favourites I guess, but there are a few guys in there who could put up a good result. :)


I don't think you necessarily have to come from a mountainous country to be a good climber. Belgium had climbers in the past. The reason why in recent years, we did not have any decent climbers nor even Ardennes riders is that our riders have been trained from early on to race cobbles and short climbs, to race against the wind, to develop technical skills and pack skills on the kermesses (that we managed to preserve). So they are trained to be great on Flemish classics. We tried to make the most of our cobbled climbs. Edwig Van Hooydonck denounced this policy (in the book "De Flandriens", by Canvas in 2011). It seems like it's started to change by now.

I think also now in the era of such specialization it's as much about prioritising something as it is about training. If GVA or Benoot, for example, lost 5+ kg and sacrificed some of their muscle and explosive power they would probably become pretty close to elite climbers immediately, without any other specific training. Like Thomas has done or Dumoulin. But the most talented riders in Belgium prefer to do the classics and have more fun riding than these stick figure climbers.


It's about specialization. Cobbled classics (except roubaix) rely heavily on your 1 minute power and 10 second power (sprint). Ardennes climbs are typically 1-2km so you need good 5 minute power. To win the Tour you need high FTP. The reason GVA could do well in Rio was that the climbs were 20 minutes long. If he could stay in the wheels on the climb he could rest a bit on the decent and then chase on the flat. So it's not necessarily about weight. Gilbert in his prime is roughly the same weight as today. He just knows he's lost his climbing legs so he doesn't train for it.
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Re: Re:

26 Sep 2017 14:28

Echoes wrote:I don't think you necessarily have to come from a mountainous country to be a good climber. Belgium had climbers in the past. The reason why in recent years, we did not have any decent climbers nor even Ardennes riders is that our riders have been trained from early on to race cobbles and short climbs, to race against the wind, to develop technical skills and pack skills on the kermesses (that we managed to preserve). So they are trained to be great on Flemish classics. We tried to make the most of our cobbled climbs. Edwig Van Hooydonck denounced this policy (in the book "De Flandriens", by Canvas in 2011). It seems like it's started to change by now.


Yeah I agree with you. The Netherlands has a fair number of high level climbers despite being pan flat. Belgium has some good talent for climbing/hilly one day races coming up though with guys like De Plus, Vervaeke, Lambrecht, Teuns. Hopefully they can reclaim the Ardennes from the glorified sprinters a bit. :)

For Innsbruck the Belgian team with struggle a bit though I think. Only Benoot if he focuses on climbing I can see getting a good result. Maybe GVA of Gilbert if they prepares very carefully for this and with favorable circumstances can do it like in GVA in Rio. Maybe Teuns if he takes another big step forward coming season.
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26 Sep 2017 14:48

GvA and Gilbert are gonna get recked and not be close to the win. There's no gazillion km's of flat after the final climb to catch the 10 climbers that are better, and this time around not all better climbers are gonna crash out.
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26 Sep 2017 14:49

GvA and Gilbert are gonna get recked and not be close to the win. There's no gazillion km's of flat after the final climb to catch the 10 climbers that are better, and this time around not all better climbers are gonna crash out.
Veni, Vidi, Kirby

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Re: Re:

26 Sep 2017 17:35

Gigs_98 wrote:
Netserk wrote:Nibali, with an attack before the last climb.

This is actually an important point. Nibali will probably be the leader of Italy considering his record in mountainous one day races like this, but the last climb doesn't suit him at all. If Nibali wants to win the race has to explode earlier. Ofc the fact that this climb doesn't suit him could also be an argument why he shouldn't be the team leader but then again, I don't really see anyone from Italy who has a big chance to win if everyone comes to the Murito together.


Nibali has already said that the WC RR is one of his 2018 main goals.

He has hinted he might ride again the Vuelta to prepare for it... which means no Tour most probably.
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Re: Re:

26 Sep 2017 18:19

huge wrote:
Gigs_98 wrote:
Netserk wrote:Nibali, with an attack before the last climb.

This is actually an important point. Nibali will probably be the leader of Italy considering his record in mountainous one day races like this, but the last climb doesn't suit him at all. If Nibali wants to win the race has to explode earlier. Ofc the fact that this climb doesn't suit him could also be an argument why he shouldn't be the team leader but then again, I don't really see anyone from Italy who has a big chance to win if everyone comes to the Murito together.


Nibali has already said that the WC RR is one of his 2018 main goals.

He has hinted he might ride again the Vuelta to prepare for it... which means no Tour most probably.


I think he still dreams to leave the sport with all GT's, monument, WW RR and Olympic gold in his palmares. This probably is his last chance for WW RR, so I bet Innsbruck will actually be his #1 target of whole next year. The result will potentially determine if he will continue until 2020 to see Tokyo.
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Re: Re:

26 Sep 2017 18:30

huge wrote:
Gigs_98 wrote:
Netserk wrote:Nibali, with an attack before the last climb.

This is actually an important point. Nibali will probably be the leader of Italy considering his record in mountainous one day races like this, but the last climb doesn't suit him at all. If Nibali wants to win the race has to explode earlier. Ofc the fact that this climb doesn't suit him could also be an argument why he shouldn't be the team leader but then again, I don't really see anyone from Italy who has a big chance to win if everyone comes to the Murito together.


Nibali has already said that the WC RR is one of his 2018 main goals.

He has hinted he might ride again the Vuelta to prepare for it... which means no Tour most probably.

I'm pretty sure he'll target the gc in the tour and then go stage hunting to the vuelta as a preparation for the worlds. In 2016 he did the same by going for the gc of the giro, then he rode the tour as a prep race and was in great shape in the Olympic RR.
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26 Sep 2017 18:42

That was the worst most boring road race I have ever watched. Glad for sagan, but what a horrible race. I realize it was a race of attrition with the distance, but I didn't think only 15K would be worth watching in a 260K race.
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Re:

26 Sep 2017 18:59

offbyone wrote:That was the worst most boring road race I have ever watched. Glad for sagan, but what a horrible race. I realize it was a race of attrition with the distance, but I didn't think only 15K would be worth watching in a 260K race.
Little early there
"They don't think it be like it is, but it do"
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Re:

26 Sep 2017 19:22

offbyone wrote:That was the worst most boring road race I have ever watched. Glad for sagan, but what a horrible race. I realize it was a race of attrition with the distance, but I didn't think only 15K would be worth watching in a 260K race.
Hindsight is 20/20!
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Re: Re:

26 Sep 2017 19:51

bob.a.feet wrote:
offbyone wrote:That was the worst most boring road race I have ever watched. Glad for sagan, but what a horrible race. I realize it was a race of attrition with the distance, but I didn't think only 15K would be worth watching in a 260K race.
Little early there


Oh whoops is this for next year?
I guess 2017 was so boring we have already moved on to 2018 or maybe this is an early spoiler :razz:
offbyone
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Re: Re:

26 Sep 2017 20:24

offbyone wrote:
bob.a.feet wrote:
offbyone wrote:That was the worst most boring road race I have ever watched. Glad for sagan, but what a horrible race. I realize it was a race of attrition with the distance, but I didn't think only 15K would be worth watching in a 260K race.
Little early there


Oh whoops is this for next year?
I guess 2017 was so boring we have already moved on to 2018 or maybe this is an early spoiler :razz:

I can guarantee you that someone will have that opinion after the 2018 worlds as well. :D
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Re: Re:

26 Sep 2017 21:04

offbyone wrote:
bob.a.feet wrote:
offbyone wrote:That was the worst most boring road race I have ever watched. Glad for sagan, but what a horrible race. I realize it was a race of attrition with the distance, but I didn't think only 15K would be worth watching in a 260K race.
Little early there


Oh whoops is this for next year?
I guess 2017 was so boring we have already moved on to 2018 or maybe this is an early spoiler :razz:
Nah we will all be stunned when Simon 'Big Arms' Spilak wins
"They don't think it be like it is, but it do"
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11 Feb 2018 02:30

imagine the carnage Colombia can and will make

Quintana, Chavez, Uran, Bernal, Henao, Lopez and Pantano. With Betancur in early break.
Asero831
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11 Feb 2018 02:37

Chavez is Colombia's best option then Uran as they actually can race one day races fairly well.

However Nibali and Valverde will be the huge favorites going into this race. Valverde is also targeting it as one of his main goals for the season. He's also said the realistically it's his last best shot at winning the rainbow jersey which he really wants.
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Re:

11 Feb 2018 03:31

Asero831 wrote:imagine the carnage Colombia can and will make

Quintana, Chavez, Uran, Bernal, Henao, Lopez and Pantano. With Betancur in early break.

The big problem the Colombians will have is outsprinting the likes of Valverde, Kwiatkowski and Allaphilipe. The only rider likely to be chosen with any real chance of doing this is probably Uran.

For Chaves, Quintana or any of the others to win they will probably need to win alone, which may not happen with the likely strength of the Spanish, French and Italian teams. Even the British could put a strong team together (on paper at least) but apart from Copenhagen they suck at worlds :confused:
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Re: Re:

11 Feb 2018 04:11

42x16ss wrote:
Asero831 wrote:imagine the carnage Colombia can and will make

Quintana, Chavez, Uran, Bernal, Henao, Lopez and Pantano. With Betancur in early break.

The big problem the Colombians will have is outsprinting the likes of Valverde, Kwiatkowski and Allaphilipe. The only rider likely to be chosen with any real chance of doing this is probably Uran.

For Chaves, Quintana or any of the others to win they will probably need to win alone, which may not happen with the likely strength of the Spanish, French and Italian teams. Even the British could put a strong team together (on paper at least) but apart from Copenhagen they suck at worlds :confused:



Add to that this does not finish on the top of a mountain, it finishes a few KM from the bottom of a descent. Which makes it even better for the likes of Valverde, Alaphilippe (if he can climb well enough), Nibali. The Belgiums will also have a strong team, the question is can either Gilbert (more likely) or Van Avermeat be able to climb well enough to stay with the other group.
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11 Feb 2018 04:47

Spain, Colombia and Italy have learned their lessons in the Olympics, they cannot let Alaphilippe, GVA, Sagan Gilbert hang in their. Now that there is a 8 man squad, there will be more domestiques to soften the legs of the peloton.

By the 60km to finish, expect only climbers left in the race.
Also, Rio have the final 23kms on descent and flat hence GVA was able to comeback.

Innsbruck only has 6 kms of descent and 2 kms flat, so it is really a climbers race.
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