skidmark wrote:As far as picks, I think Valverde's an interesting one. Obviously, with the hammer coming down on him in a couple of weeks, he could either find extra motivation or wilt (remember 2007 in the worlds after he lobbied CAS to ride? He rode relatively anonymously and afterwards commented that all the drama and stress had gotten to him). So I dunno, but I know if I thought I was riding my last races for 2 years I'd have something to prove.
skidmark wrote:Samuel Sanchez would be a big pick for me too, but 2 days ago in cyclingnews he said something to the effect that after Pais Vasco he was going to rest and come back for his main objectives, which were the Vuelta and the Worlds. This doesn't really make ANY sense to me, but it sounds like he's not riding the Ardennes. Anyone know?
bianchigirl wrote:The Ardennes week is certainly interesting in that we see riders who might be considered GT contenders riding - and those uphill finishes are brilliant - as opposed to the increasingly specialised 'hard men' of Flanders.
Both weeks are great, full of history and drama and luck and chance - they can make and break reputations, create heroes and villains, enhance the myths and legends of those great races.
I love the lot of them - for me there's far more truth in a Classic than in a GT. There are no second chances at P-R or L-B-L - you need great legs and a superior tactical brain, to be able to think for yourself rather than wait for instructions from the team car. If you miss the winning move you can't come back and try and get in the right break tomorrow. It's the all or nothingness of these great races that got me hooked. The Classics are real racing.
il_fiammingo wrote:I agree, but unfortunately the race developments in Fleche/Liege are most of the time very boring in comparison to RvV or PR. It's always about waiting, never taking risks. I think it has to do with the nature of these GC guys: always measuring every ounce of energy they're going to spent because they might need it the next stage.
Although these uphill finishes are spectacular (and the strongest always wins), they also contribute to a boring race: the guys with great legs can always "wait" until that moment to make a move.
il_fiammingo wrote: Right now only 2 riders focus on the Ardennes: P. Gilbert and J. Vanden Broeck. And most likely they'll provide Evans with bidons.
Nastyy wrote:Also interesting to see what Pineau can do. He has good results in there races in the past and propably has lifted his level since joining Quick Step.
Yeah, doesn't seem like many of the Belgian riders of late like to climb. Who else? Monfort, Devolder...?
jaylew wrote:Yeah, doesn't seem like many of the Belgian riders of late like to climb. Who else? Monfort, Devolder...?
Bala Verde wrote:Rabobank announced its AGR team.
Robert Gesink, Oscar Freire, Joost Posthuma, Stef Clement, Paul Martens, Nick Nuyens, Bram Tankink en Pieter Weening.
Jasper wrote:And Cadel Evans is in. With ambition even, as Mark Sergeant stated his form is good and the hilly finale should suit him very well, especially the finish on the Cauberg.
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