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16/04 - 20/04: Tour of the Alps (Giro del Trentino)

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Re: Re:

16 Apr 2018 20:21

El Pistolero wrote:
RedheadDane wrote:Paris-Nice isn't a big race? :confused:


I was clearly talking about the five Monuments, the 3 GTs and the WC.

Not some prep race for the classics with a very weak field (at least this year).


It wasn't as as clear (at least to me) as you would like to think. Paris-Nice has been one of the most important week long stage races for quite some time. Obviously our definitions of big races are not the same, which is fine.
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Re: Re:

16 Apr 2018 20:25

El Pistolero wrote:That's not a big race and he only won because nobody bothered to follow him as he's still a small fry. Let's see him win next year when he's a marked man.

Did he, or did he not, complete the course in a faster time than anybody else?

Besides, he won Paris-Nice doing exactly what Alberto Contador did last year, only he succeeded because he was underestimated. It's not like he was nowhere for the whole race and then they rode like a bunch of lobotomized fools like how Thomas de Gendt got on the Giro podium either. He was on good form - 3rd in the Ruta del Sol - and he was 2nd in the ITT, and finished with the defending champion on the MTF. He was 37 seconds off the lead, and he attacked from long range, risking sacrificing the lot to try to win. Isn't that the kind of rider you claim to be a fan of?

He won that race because he was underestimated. You can underestimate even people who are the very top riders, especially if there's a lack of cohesion in the chase. You should know, it's how Tom Boonen won Roubaix in a 40km solo, and how Gilbert won de Ronde. It was super exciting, smart, fantastic racing then, but it's not when Soler does the same thing - why do the goalposts move when it's a grimpeur in a stage race?
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Re: Re:

16 Apr 2018 21:00

Angliru wrote:
RedheadDane wrote:Paris-Nice isn't a big race? :confused:


Just let it go. I wouldn't want to encourage anymore of the toxic nature of these posts.

Yeah, I don't really see why people keep replying to him.
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16 Apr 2018 21:03

What's up with Meintjes? Don't like him much as rider but still surprising he's so bad this year.
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Re: Re:

16 Apr 2018 21:07

Libertine Seguros wrote:
El Pistolero wrote:That's not a big race and he only won because nobody bothered to follow him as he's still a small fry. Let's see him win next year when he's a marked man.

Did he, or did he not, complete the course in a faster time than anybody else?

Besides, he won Paris-Nice doing exactly what Alberto Contador did last year, only he succeeded because he was underestimated. It's not like he was nowhere for the whole race and then they rode like a bunch of lobotomized fools like how Thomas de Gendt got on the Giro podium either. He was on good form - 3rd in the Ruta del Sol - and he was 2nd in the ITT, and finished with the defending champion on the MTF. He was 37 seconds off the lead, and he attacked from long range, risking sacrificing the lot to try to win. Isn't that the kind of rider you claim to be a fan of?

He won that race because he was underestimated. You can underestimate even people who are the very top riders, especially if there's a lack of cohesion in the chase. You should know, it's how Tom Boonen won Roubaix in a 40km solo, and how Gilbert won de Ronde. It was super exciting, smart, fantastic racing then, but it's not when Soler does the same thing - why do the goalposts move when it's a grimpeur in a stage race?


Because it's a Spaniard from Movistar, obviously. When Valverde wins by relying on his sprint, he wheelsucks, when Soler wins by going on a long-range attack, it's because the field is weak and doesn't care because it's a prep race.
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Re: Re:

16 Apr 2018 21:28

Libertine Seguros wrote:
El Pistolero wrote:That's not a big race and he only won because nobody bothered to follow him as he's still a small fry. Let's see him win next year when he's a marked man.

Did he, or did he not, complete the course in a faster time than anybody else?

Besides, he won Paris-Nice doing exactly what Alberto Contador did last year, only he succeeded because he was underestimated. It's not like he was nowhere for the whole race and then they rode like a bunch of lobotomized fools like how Thomas de Gendt got on the Giro podium either. He was on good form - 3rd in the Ruta del Sol - and he was 2nd in the ITT, and finished with the defending champion on the MTF. He was 37 seconds off the lead, and he attacked from long range, risking sacrificing the lot to try to win. Isn't that the kind of rider you claim to be a fan of?

He won that race because he was underestimated. You can underestimate even people who are the very top riders, especially if there's a lack of cohesion in the chase. You should know, it's how Tom Boonen won Roubaix in a 40km solo, and how Gilbert won de Ronde. It was super exciting, smart, fantastic racing then, but it's not when Soler does the same thing - why do the goalposts move when it's a grimpeur in a stage race?


Where did I criticize Soler on how he won the race? I'm just saying he hasn't proven that he can win cycling's biggest races yet. That may come in the future, but it may also never happen. No one knows as we can't predict the future. Carlos Betancur's Paris-Nice win sure as hell wasn't indicative of him being able to win big races.


It has been since 2012 that a Paris-Nice winner won either a GT or Monument. The field in Paris-Nice has suffered over the years because of its competition with Tirreno-Adriatico (which usually has a far better field, and the recent list of winners shows that quite clearly).

It's a fact that it's easier to win races when you're relatively unknown and nobody marks you. That's not an insult to Soler (or Valgren in the AGR), everybody has to start somewhere. It will be harder for Soler and Valgren to pull of the same trick again, however, as now they will be marked men. Not everyone can deal with that situation (just look at Sagan).

You may have a different definition of big races, and that's perfectly fine, but when I'm talking about the biggest races in cycling I'm talking about the five Monuments, the 3 GTs, the WC and Olympic Gold. I don't think Soler is good enough to win any of these races RIGHT NOW. He's still young and can develop further, but for now I don't see a GT winner in him.

Besides, my post was quite clear as to what I meant, as I said the last big win by a Spaniard (outside of Valverde) was Contador's Giro win... Contador also won Pais Vasco in 2016, but I obviously don't see that as a big win either.
Last edited by El Pistolero on 16 Apr 2018 21:40, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Re:

16 Apr 2018 21:32

tobydawq wrote:
Libertine Seguros wrote:
El Pistolero wrote:That's not a big race and he only won because nobody bothered to follow him as he's still a small fry. Let's see him win next year when he's a marked man.

Did he, or did he not, complete the course in a faster time than anybody else?

Besides, he won Paris-Nice doing exactly what Alberto Contador did last year, only he succeeded because he was underestimated. It's not like he was nowhere for the whole race and then they rode like a bunch of lobotomized fools like how Thomas de Gendt got on the Giro podium either. He was on good form - 3rd in the Ruta del Sol - and he was 2nd in the ITT, and finished with the defending champion on the MTF. He was 37 seconds off the lead, and he attacked from long range, risking sacrificing the lot to try to win. Isn't that the kind of rider you claim to be a fan of?

He won that race because he was underestimated. You can underestimate even people who are the very top riders, especially if there's a lack of cohesion in the chase. You should know, it's how Tom Boonen won Roubaix in a 40km solo, and how Gilbert won de Ronde. It was super exciting, smart, fantastic racing then, but it's not when Soler does the same thing - why do the goalposts move when it's a grimpeur in a stage race?


Because it's a Spaniard from Movistar, obviously. When Valverde wins by relying on his sprint, he wheelsucks, when Soler wins by going on a long-range attack, it's because the field is weak and doesn't care because it's a prep race.


The field was weak because the field was weak. You can look up the start list yourself and compare it to Tirreno-Adriatico if you want. Not to mention that the strongest rider crashed out, Wout Poels.
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16 Apr 2018 21:39

Froome says of stage 2,
Tomorrow [Tuesday] could probably be the most decisive day of the week.


Lavarone to Alpe di Pampeago 145.5 km

Image


Image


Image
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16 Apr 2018 21:46

Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico have rather flipped around one another in recent years I think. Back in around 2009-10 Paris-Nice was like the petit Grand Tour with Tirreno being more about its punchy garage ramps, moving on from an earlier iteration which was basically a sprinter's race in preparation for Milano-Sanremo, but then Paris-Nice started with the negative routes with the long penultimate rolling run-in to Biot or Nice and the Col d'Èze MTT killing the racing in the stage preceding, while Tirreno brought in a genuine MTF, and the fields moved towards Tirreno-Adriatico being stronger. However, with the return of the TT being mid-race and the short final Nice-Nice stage that worked so effectively in the late 2000s, it seems to be moving back toward the other direction again now and both seem to be pretty even. Paris-Nice seems to be producing a better finale now, Tirreno-Adriatico a better middle period.

When you say a "major race" I'm thinking that you mean the GTs, the Monuments, the Worlds, and then the major Classics and week races, so Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Gent-Wevelgem, País Vasco, Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallonne, Dauphiné, Tour de Suisse. Maybe E3 at a push. I'm still not convinced about the sudden super elevation to greater than Worlds status of the Olympics, but even allowing for that there's only been one such race in the time frame.

And really, "it's been almost three years since they won a Worlds, Monument or GT" doesn't mean there's no talent coming through. Just that a few specialists have bogarted quite a lot of those titles in recent years - Sagan, Froome, Nibali - and really, "three years without a GT or monument" is hardly a drought to be compared to France pre-Demare, or the Netherlands pre-Poels/Dumoulin. Spanish cycling is in something of a transition period as the generation between those retiring and ageing now and those coming through now were somewhat lost due to a) being set to work as helpers for the preceding golden generation with Samu, Valverde, Purito, Moreno, Contador, and b) the post-Puerto and post-financial crisis drop-off in sponsorships meaning a heavily reduced national calendar and fewer chances to compete with the best, concentrating a number of talents in a small number of teams or meaning riders had to go elsewhere to develop, with variable success rates.
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Re: 16/04 - 20/04: Tour of the Alps (Giro del Trentino)

16 Apr 2018 21:50

Yes, in 24 hours, we'll know a lot more about the form of the protagonists, namely Froome, Aru, and Pinot. There's no hiding on AdP.

Fingers crossed :o ....
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Re: 16/04 - 20/04: Tour of the Alps (Giro del Trentino)

16 Apr 2018 21:52

Tonton wrote:Yes, in 24 hours, we'll know a lot more about the form of the protagonists, namely Froome, Aru, and Pinot. There's no hiding on AdP.

Fingers crossed :o ....


Not sure, these races never tell everything. Last winner of Trentino to also win the Giro in the same year was Nibali in 2013. Nibali sucked here when he won the Giro in 2016.
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Re: 16/04 - 20/04: Tour of the Alps (Giro del Trentino)

16 Apr 2018 22:00

El Pistolero wrote:
Tonton wrote:Yes, in 24 hours, we'll know a lot more about the form of the protagonists, namely Froome, Aru, and Pinot. There's no hiding on AdP.

Fingers crossed :o ....


Not sure, these races never tell everything. Last winner of Trentino to also win the Giro in the same year was Nibali in 2013. Nibali sucked here when he won the Giro in 2016.


I'm talking about the climb :) . It's a nasty one. Today Froome and Pinot looked great, some rejoice, tomorrow we'll see where they are at, and if Aru's lost time today was a fluke or indicates issues.
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16 Apr 2018 22:35

Pinot for the win tomorrow
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Re:

17 Apr 2018 00:18

staubsauger wrote:To be honest I didn't see Froome that strong. His attack didn't really crush anybody. It was quite easily followed by Pinot, who in fact had wasted some energy earlier. Let's wait for Alpe di Pampeago tomorrow. Normally the Dawg should proof a point there, if he's able to do so.

Pinot looks quite strong this year. He's had a solid build-up so far. His jump was rather pointless though. But Reichenbach as a relais station and the willingness to go from far out sounds like a good plan for the Giro.

Aru simply is an average rider. To be honest I don't know what he's talking about regarding Lady luck. He always loses precious time in the tt and is way too inconsistent in the mountains. In fact he would've had problems finishing inside the top 5 back in the 90s and 00s. He's simply not good enough ride now. That he got to lead a strong team like Astana which pulled him to a Vuelta win is some good luck actually.

Lopez has been on Teide lately. Maybe he overtrained a bit and / or needs a little more time to arrange with the race speed. Given he already looked vulnerable at T-A it's a bit worrying to be honest.

Bennett, like at T-A already, surprised again. But can he maintain that level of performance for 3 weeks in Italy? I wouldn't rule him out for a surprise top 5,if others struggle.

Same goes for Hermans. Only that I would already answer the question with a no. He might finish 7-9 tough which combined with aggressive racing in the flat stages would be a fine performance by Israel Cycling Academy.

Pozzovivo looked good for the first time this season. I already feared that age might caught up with him. Problem for Pozzovivo of course are the crosswind stages in Israel. His gc ambitions might end early on there. Potentially that could force him to go for the KOM classification instead.

Which brings us to Cicchone who I would rate as no. 1 favorite for the blue jersey, ahead of Betancur and Pantano right now. Anton or Dombrowski ain't much of a factor anymore these days. But Ciccone looked quite strong. Especially the way he jumped away from Reichenbach. Hopefully Johnny Grain can deliver us some great attacks in the mountains.


Aru is a GT winner and also has podiums so he is not an average GT rider. Why would Froome want to be killing anyone at the moment ? He is a couple of weeks off the Giro. That was the ride of someone who is building form. Ciccone was a nice ride. Pozzo, Pinot and Froome should be in the mix on the next stage. George Bennett rode well in the Tour until he got sick. A good ride wouldn't surprise in the Giro.
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Re:

17 Apr 2018 00:57

staubsauger wrote:Aru simply is an average rider. To be honest I don't know what he's talking about regarding Lady luck. He always loses precious time in the tt and is way too inconsistent in the mountains. In fact he would've had problems finishing inside the top 5 back in the 90s and 00s. He's simply not good enough ride now. That he got to lead a strong team like Astana which pulled him to a Vuelta win is some good luck actually.
.


Come on - are you trolling?

You could quibble about whether he's "elite", depending on your definition of that word, but in no world is he "average", even amongst the ranks of World Tour riders.
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Re: 16/04 - 20/04: Tour of the Alps (Giro del Trentino)

17 Apr 2018 01:31

Trolling, maybe not. Aru took advantage of a strong team and Dunoulin being mugged. Giro '14 he was not much better than Rolland. Fabio made the best of his opportunities. Recently, well, sparkles like the win at PDBF but not much else, All that glitters are not gold. Led Zep, Black Album, Netserk, I can't wrap my head around Fabio Aru as a GT powerhouse. Lady Luck got on his side many times over, he's a second tier GT guy behind Froome and Quintana, Dumoulin maybe, and Aru is no Nibali. I can understand the doubters.
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17 Apr 2018 02:52

Yep, Aru is in the category of GT nobodies with Pinot :p
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17 Apr 2018 06:00

Astana have been good at having numbers at the end of races, so it'll be interesting to see how Sky do. Expect one of the two to try to get someone in the breakaway.
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17 Apr 2018 07:57

the level of a rider should be constantly proved true. yes, aru has a gt under his belt, however his status has fallen in a way over two last years, so there a lot of thing to prove yet.
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17 Apr 2018 08:39

Pozzovivo ftw today!
Curious also to see what Sosa can do today.
Riposa in pace, Michele!
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