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The Women's Road Racing Thread 2018

A place to discuss all things related to current professional road races. Here, you can also touch on the latest news relating to professional road racing. A doping discussion free forum.

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13 Aug 2018 18:17

...and Anna's dropped Floortje, and as soon as WaowDeals chased the break, Boels had a third and a fourth rider following, as soon as Floortje was dropped Sunweb were all over it too, and we're back to a reduced péloton, but Anna's got some daylight now. Dani Rowe trying to chase but Guarnier and Blaak are basically running interference, very successfully but very frustratingly. One on one, Rowe surely can't catch van der Breggen. Sunweb need to burn a match here.

Wiggle now add Audrey Cordon-Ragot to the chase. Eurosport seem fairly convinced Anna can't be caught, but van den Veen suggests that Sunweb have pegged the gap at only around 10-15" which is eminently catchable. Mackaij and Brand doing the lion's share of the chase and Boels massing near the front so if they catch Anna too early, expect somebody else to launch. The climb is where VDB needs to make her time I think, as she holds the advantage over the Mackaijs and Cordons of this world there... oh, scratch that, Moolman-Pasio has decided that the climb is the best place for catching van der Breggen, and of course Ash is one of the very best in the world when it comes to climbing, so quite a few riders being shelled as the South African looks to catch Anna. WaowDeals now onto the front to pull her back, and it's all over for the solo escape. Immediate counter from Blaak but too many people knew that was coming and watched the rainbow jersey like hawks.

Marta Cavalli makes an attack, marked by WaowDeals, which draws Amy Pieters and Emilia Fahlin out of the group for a bit, but a really high tempo on the front now making escaping hard. I think that final ascent has got rid of a few sprinters so many teams don't want to let them back. There are a few there though, Wild appears to be there, Vos of course and I think I've spotted the defending champion Lotta Lepistö too. Oh, and Rivera is there too, Sunweb have carefully kept her out of too much trouble, left the attacking to the likes of Brand and Floortje, and are now setting about leading her out.

Wow, Vos mugged them all, sneaking around the final corner and bolting before anybody launched a sprint - she was able to open up a couple of seconds and sit up celebrating with a huge gap in the last 50m. Remarkable finish, with Wild and Lepistö battling the remainder of the podium. But wow. That was a dominant finale.
Last edited by Libertine Seguros on 13 Aug 2018 18:39, edited 1 time in total.
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13 Aug 2018 18:38

Lepisto's divebomb into the final corner killed her and everyone else's chances

Specifically, she forced everyone except Vos (who was already through) to slow down to a crawl. Coming out of the last corner with the line just ahead, with a gap that big and going that much more slowly, there's no chance to catch anyone ahead

The good news is she didn't cause a crash like Impey did at the Tour :)
Last edited by GuyIncognito on 13 Aug 2018 18:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re:

13 Aug 2018 18:42

GuyIncognito wrote:Lepisto's divebomb into the final corner killed everyone else's chances

That corner always seems to decide things. When the break took it and Fahlin won two years ago, Barnes was the best sprinter in the remainder of the group, but she got into the worst position into that corner and had far too much to do and was a non-factor. All that scrapping for the corner means a tetchy péloton and some risky type moves. I don't think Lotta's move was especially bad per se, but she did carry too much speed which gave Vos the small opening she needed. In a leadout scenario, nothing's wrong there, but Vos is far too experienced and she knew where she needed to be.
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13 Aug 2018 20:01

Sometimes we find excuses to show why a rider shouldn't win - Vos' final today was one of the most dominant performances in a one day race in 2018 - She effectively gapped quality sprinters in the last 200 metres.
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Re:

13 Aug 2018 21:04

yaco wrote:Sometimes we find excuses to show why a rider shouldn't win - Vos' final today was one of the most dominant performances in a one day race in 2018 - She effectively gapped quality sprinters in the last 200 metres.


It's not an excuse, and I didn't say anything remotely like "She shouldn't win".
Why would I, if I don't have a single favored or disliked rider in the race?

I merely pointed out that the way the final corner was ridden meant she exited it with a sizeable gap and a significant advantage in speed.

It was a quality ride but it wasn't sprinting, it was cornering. Ivan Basso could win exiting a corner with that gap and that speed advantage. She gapped quality sprinters yes, but not in a sprint and it wasn't in the last 200 meters. She did it by riding the corner smartly and not making the mistakes others made.
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Re: Re:

14 Aug 2018 03:30

GuyIncognito wrote:
yaco wrote:Sometimes we find excuses to show why a rider shouldn't win - Vos' final today was one of the most dominant performances in a one day race in 2018 - She effectively gapped quality sprinters in the last 200 metres.


It's not an excuse, and I didn't say anything remotely like "She shouldn't win".
Why would I, if I don't have a single favored or disliked rider in the race?

I merely pointed out that the way the final corner was ridden meant she exited it with a sizeable gap and a significant advantage in speed.

It was a quality ride but it wasn't sprinting, it was cornering. Ivan Basso could win exiting a corner with that gap and that speed advantage. She gapped quality sprinters yes, but not in a sprint and it wasn't in the last 200 meters. She did it by riding the corner smartly and not making the mistakes others made.


Again in your post you are making excuses for others and failing to acknowledge the brilliance - Every rider knew where they had to be positioned at the final corner - Three or four riders had prime position at the corner but YET Vos sprinted away from the others as if they were standing.
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14 Aug 2018 16:27

Considering I quite clearly said it was "quality", at this point you can only be trolling.
That or you're attempting to answer without actually reading. In which case, bad idea.
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14 Aug 2018 18:16

Katie Hall joins Boels Dolmans
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Re:

14 Aug 2018 18:25

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14 Aug 2018 20:52

Katie's definitely done enough to earn herself the chance to mix it in the European péloton season-long, while Eva's had a really strong season. Interesting to see how Boels play this off-season as obviously they're losing Lizzie but this season has shown they've not really lost a step with the loss of that British arm with Harris leaving too (rather predictably as she seemed to be Lizzie's sidekick, and wanting to focus on the field again) and I do rather have mixed feelings as I feel that the two definitely deserve a place at a top team on 2018 evidence and I like both, but at the same time I am not exactly on board with the ongoing orange steamroller and it will be interesting to see what kind of opportunities the two get to ride for themselves, or who else this suggests may be leaving the team (I see Hall slotting in somewhere between Canuel and Guarnier in the hilly races, tending stronger as the climbs get longer, Buurman likely slots into the kind of role Pieters and Majerus has but for more hilly races).
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14 Aug 2018 21:26

Do Boels have a significant budget advantage on everyone else?
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15 Aug 2018 04:27

It hasn't quite been the Boels domination this year as compared to the previous seasons - Mitchelton Scott is not far behind and a more than competitive in the mountains and in sprints - Boels is still dominant in the classics.
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15 Aug 2018 22:59

This is a very interesting and enlightening article. I dare say that the fact van Gogh is now into her 40s and has reached something of a performance ceiling, where she's more or less established and accepted within the national and regional scene and is able to periodically race against the very best, but apart from Vårgårda's TTT hasn't reached the top 20 of any World Cup/World Tour races, probably prevents too much controversy arising around her the way it clearly did when she was first racing, and certainly I think the road to acceptance might have been rockier had she been regularly winning races (I think back to the reactions on the forum to Giorgia Bronzini's first World Championships win, which was only a couple of years after van Gogh started racing on the road), but still - I suspect that in competitive sports this is going to be a divisive topic for a long time both among fans and among teams and riders, but on a personal level it's good for her that she's reached what I'd see as an almost unprecedented level of acceptance from within the sport and it seems to have been beneficial for her.
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Re:

16 Aug 2018 16:36

Libertine Seguros wrote:I think back to the reactions on the forum to Giorgia Bronzini's first World Championships win, which was only a couple of years after van Gogh started racing on the road


I just went and read that.
I wish I hadn't.

Some people are such dicks
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Re: Re:

16 Aug 2018 22:02

GuyIncognito wrote:
Libertine Seguros wrote:I think back to the reactions on the forum to Giorgia Bronzini's first World Championships win, which was only a couple of years after van Gogh started racing on the road


I just went and read that.
I wish I hadn't.

Some people are such dicks

It's worth noting that back then, the most offensive of the threads was nuked by the mods long before the sidebar thread existed, so what still stands on the forum is actually the less insulting commentary. As I say, considering the kind of comments Bronzini was subjected to for being a bit butch, makes you wonder just how brutal it might have become if van Gogh had been similarly successful.

As things stand however, the Norwegians have had "keeping up with the Joneses" disease strike them and have decided that they'd like a standalone TTT like the Swedes, although admittedly the route around Halden is only just over half the distance of the lengthy Swedish challenge from last week. Having commented just recently on Boels' unstoppability in the format, they didn't actually make the podium today, although the fact that the Tour of Norway TTT is less established than its neighour in Vårgårda is reflected in the startlist and indeed for Boels big time flat engines like van der Breggen, Blaak and Pieters made way, with Megan Guarnier coming in to try to rekindle her 2015 magic in the Tour of Norway (she was 2nd last year), and the team brings in a couple of its less experienced or lower-on-the-totem-pole riders in Anna Plichta and Skylar Schneider too which may well affect it as especially the latter riders have spent less time in the TTT unit, having only joined the team this year and not been part of the major A-team players.

The race was won in the end by Sunweb, whose unit also saw a couple of changes - Mathiesen and Labous out, and Lippert and Winder in - though Mathiesen is a strong TT competitor, she's also inexperienced, although Winder is in her first year in the European péloton and Lippert is also a young prospect. There are a fair few TTs on the American calendar however, and over the shorter distance they complemented the remaining of last week's riders, i.e. Rivera, Brand, Kirchmann and Mackaij, well, allowing the team to come in with over 30 seconds of advantage over the Mitchelton-Scott team which once more saw Lucy Kennedy out, but had its strongest stage racing duo, van Vleuten and Spratt, back in to join Manly, Allen, Elvin and Roy, improving last week's 7th position all the way to the podium, while the prize for consistency has to go to Cervélo-Bigla, whose minuscule lineup managed a second consecutive podium, with the exact same sextet - Moolman-Pasio, Ludwig, Lepistö, Koppenburg, Duyck and Norsgaard - lining up as did so in Vårgårda.

They saw off the Canyon team which has undergone wholesale changes, bringing back hilly and stage race specialised riders and rotating the young riders on the team, resting Cecchini, Erath and the out-of-sorts Cromwell and bringing in Alexis Ryan, Christa Riffel and Kasia Niewiadoma. The German squad missed the podium by a mere 2 seconds, while the also unchanged WaowDeals team were just a further few seconds behind, seeing off Boels-Dolmans and relegating the oft-dominant orange train to 6th place, ahead of the medium-sized type teams like the now outgoing Wiggle team - unfortunately operating without Audrey Cordon-Ragot, one of their best TT riders - and the Movistar squad. Pleased to see TIBCO back on the WWT though - if only because everything's always fun with Valentina "everywhere is a good place to attack" Scandolara, who has joined the team recently.
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19 Aug 2018 09:56

Eddy Merckx is dismantling the calendar in Scandinavia, it seems; not content with the victory in Vårgårda, the first two stages of the Ladies' Tour of Norway have both gone to the Cannibal.

As is often the case at the Tour of Norway, due to the undulating terrain, there are few opportunities to really shatter the bunch apart but there's a lot of technical section, and constant short drags, ramps and repechos that can create a split or can drop riders through force of attrition. Indeed, only 30 riders finished on the same time in stage 1, with a lot of the credit for that level of attrition to be considered due to the wind, but also to Lucinda Brand who escaped on a narrow descent after the day's only QOM point, won by Kasia Niewiadoma, and as a number of small groups of riders crossed over to chase the Dutchwoman, until no more were capable of bridging the gap as the number had swollen to such an extent that more people were working than were able to get together to form another group to work behind. Kasia, having been a little below her peak and unable to perform at her combative best in the Giro and La Course, aimed to make up for it here, setting up another attack group at 30km to go, but with Rivera having made the junction to the Brand group, Sunweb now felt they held the cards in the sprint and were not happy with their representation in the group that the Pole had prised away from the front of the group, and worked to nullify the attack.

Boels' best sprinter on the startline, Amalie Dideriksen, had missed the move, so they worked to give Majerus, their best sprinter in the group, the chance to rest up, with Karol-Ann Canuel attempting a solo break which gained some time, with no team wanting to take the responsibility for chasing once Sunweb decided that a solo break did not need monitoring as aggressively - until the lead reached 30 seconds, whereupon Floortje Mackaij set off in pursuit. Mitchelton-Scott it was, in the end, who took the initiative which seemed odd given they were unlikely to contend the sprint with Annemiek or Amanda Spratt, and Gracie Elvin, whilst a strong all-rounder, surely had a deficit in a group with some of the very strong sprinters remaining. They took their time about it too, and at times it looked like the Quebecoise was going to be safe - but in the end, it was almost-but-not-quite Tony Martin in Cáceres territory, as the final 250m being uphill at 6-7% or so took all of the remaining strength out of Canuel's legs, and Vos led around her to win the sprint ahead of Emilia Fahlin, who benefited from the tough run-in ahead of some of the more pure sprinters finishing behind her, with Rivera 3rd, Elvin 4th and Chloe Hosking 5th - the Aussie was perhaps the best pure sprinter in the group, but also had but one helper - Soraya Paladin - and despite her best intentions was only just able to better her performance here last year where getting that final corner wrong cost her dearly and she finished 6th.

With Vos also having picked up bonus seconds giving her 9" lead over Rivera, 10" over Fahlin, 13" over Majerus and 16" over the bunch, the hillier second stage looked like being a job of 'who can out-cunning the fox?' The answer, of course, was nobody, but it wasn't for want of trying. Wind and rain was the order of the day, despite some record temperatures in some parts of Norway last month - so it became a tough race for the péloton, with crosswind sections to deal with as well as the bumpy terrain and an uphill sprint once more. The status quo from stage 1 seemed to be maintained at the intermediate checkpoints - Niewiadoma bossing the mountains points, Vos besting her usual rivals for the intermediates - Fahlin and Majerus - in the metas volantes. Despite some attempts by Cervélo and Sunweb to break the elastic, the group trimmed itself down only by attrition rather than splitting up in the weather, but Vos was able to sneak into a small but short-lived move to take some bonus seconds and deny the same reward to her GC rivals - though Rivera was attentive, Fahlin and Majerus missed the move and Eugenia Bujak snapped up the remaining time. Brand was part of the three riders that were also off the front as the péloton reached the second intermediate, having led out Rivera, and tried to go solo to similar effect to yesterday's stage, but it wasn't quite so successful this time around.

Brand tried again at 3km to go, but at this point Canyon-SRAM lost their collective minds, and proved what crazy effects several hours in the wind and the rain can have on your mental state; they set up Klein, Worrack and Ryan on the front to ride for - I can hardly believe I'm typing this - their aim of winning the sprint with Kasia Niewiadoma. Now, Kasia is in the GC here, but simultaneously Alexis Ryan made the group in stage 1 and can get over a few slopes, and is an almost infinitely stronger sprinter (Kasia's not Claudia Lichtenberg or Mara Abbott bad, but in a group with the likes of Vos in it, you'd back her perhaps only if the sprint was on the Mur de Huy). And certainly the finish was uphill, and the more uphill the finishing sprint, the more competitive Katie Unknown is capable of becoming. The Pole did her best, and the team did benefit from placement as a couple of sprinters who were unable to match the uphill burst of the QOM were immediately behind them, baulking some of their sprint rivals, but Vos was ever attentive, and got onto Niewiadoma's back wheel to use her as a perfect lead-out to a back-to-back stage win (Kasia did say Marianne made her feel like she was standing still, which is not surprising given the difference in sprint results between the two), while Emilia Fahlin also doubled up on second places as she came around the Pole's wheels on the line; the group splintered with the finish being more decisive time-wise than usual thanks perhaps to the poor weather; as a result the top 3 were also given a time gap on Majerus and Biannic at 3", Siggaard (a great result for her) at 7", Rivera, Buurman, Mackaij and Nilsson at 8", Susanne Andersen at 11", Alison Jackson at 16", Lotte Kopecky at 18", Gracie Elvin at 19" and the remainder at 20 seconds plus. Kasia herself in her post-race interview said "well it's a nice climb, nice finale, but not for me" and seemed a bit bemused but excited by the team's decision to back her in it.

Quite a bit of attrition in the riders completing the stages too; home rider Emilie Moberg withdrew on day 1, while Lucy Kennedy, who's been in the wars for much of her debut professional season, alternating promising performances with injury lay-offs, didn't take the start in Fredrikstad, and we also unfortunately lost both of the TIBCO riders I was most keen to see, Scandolara and Malseed, as well as two of the Astana riders, and half of the Norwegian and Swedish national teams. Going in to the final stage, Vos' lead is 18" over Fahlin, 28" over Niewiadoma, and 31" over Rivera and Majerus. Biannic is at 35" then Brand, Buurman and Mackaij at 40" so the main thing for WaowDeals will be managing Team Sunweb, who have three riders within 40" of her. Other teams will probably have to be prepared to lose in order to win, and gamble on making WaowDeals do the chasing to protect Vos.
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19 Aug 2018 21:00

...and Vos rounds off the week in dominant style, winning the third stage to complete an utter rout of the Ladies Tour of Norway. A few teams tried to wrest control away from her, with a lengthy breakaway from Soraya Paladin, who was then joined by Rachel Neylan, before some exploratory moves from Gracie Elvin and Amanda Spratt in the run-in, but the race was well marshalled and eventually went to a sprint of the remainder of the péloton once more, with the yellow jersey coming out on top, although there wasn't a total symmetry to the results as Coryn Rivera this time outpaced Emilia Fahlin for 2nd, but the Swedish champion was able to defend her GC 2nd place with third. Time gained in bonuses meant that Rivera and Majerus popped up ahead of Niewiadoma on the GC, with the Pole falling to 5th - while she would have been 3rd on the road with no bonuses, Vos and Fahlin would have 1st and 2nd pretty sewn up on countback and have been the class of the field this week so rightfully take the top 2 positions. Also a nice top 10 on the GC for Alison Jackson - TIBCO have had a couple of very good results this season in WWT races, with Kendall Ryan taking a stage and Brodie Chapman 5th in the Tour of California and Shannon Malseed finishing 2nd overall in Chongming Island, but both of those races featured fairly truncated startlists due to calendar positions and their flyaway nature for most of the Europe-based elites, so it's good to see a strong result here in a European WWT race too for the team seeing as they are long-time stalwarts of the péloton who travel over frequently compared to many of their fellow North American teams (and who have some sweet kits); also that's an excellent result for Aude Biannic and a further confirmation that Eva Buurman is becoming a breakout rider this year.

Final GC:
1 Marianne Vos (WaowDeals Pro Cycling) NED 10'17'49
2 Emilia Fahlin (Wiggle-High 5) SWE +22"
3 Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) USA +33"
4 Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) LUX +37"
5 Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) POL +39"
6 Aude Biannic (Movistar) FRA +46"
7 Eva Buurman (Trek-Drops) NED +48"
8 Floortje Mackaij (Team Sunweb) NED +st
9 Alison Jackson (TIBCO-SVB) CAN +56"
10 Lucinda Brand (Team Sunweb) NED +58"
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Re:

19 Aug 2018 22:05

Libertine Seguros wrote:...and Vos rounds off the week in dominant style,

and is now the new leader of the UCI Women‘s WorldTour.
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20 Aug 2018 08:51

Great to see a dominant Vos in imperious form. No luck involved in her recent results.
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20 Aug 2018 09:34

Someone forgot to tell Vos about sharing:p
You can't just win every frikkin' stage and the overall! Though, if you win every stage you're very likely to win the overall too.
Aka The Ginger One.
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