105th Ronde van Vlaanderen: April 4th, 2021

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Asgreen only one who was able to answer all of Mathieu's punches apart from the Koppenberg. He also launched his sprint 50 metres earlier than Wout last year which everyone knew was the right thing to do since 6 months.

Didn't expect Asgreen to be this strong. Still needed Trentin to close the gap to the first group on Steenbeekdries and train crossing, don't think that group would have come back otherwise.

6 more months before we can see this two guys ride Roubaix :confused:

Also Alaphillippe predictably getting blown out of it on 2nd part of the Kwaremont just like Kwiatkowski used to be. Just like Pidcock, Teuns etc. Under 70kgs you don't stand a chance here
 
Asgreen only one who was able to answer all of Mathieu's punches apart from the Koppenberg. He also launched his sprint 50 metres earlier than Wout last year which everyone knew was the right thing to do since 6 months.

Didn't expect Asgreen to be this strong. Still needed Trentin to close the gap to the first group on Steenbeekdries and train crossing, don't think that group would have come back otherwise.

6 more months before we can see this two guys ride Roubaix :confused:

Also Alaphillippe predictably getting blown out of it on 2nd part of the Kwaremont just like Kwiatkowski used to be. Just like Pidcock, Teuns etc. Under 70kgs you don't stand a chance here
Valverde did just manage on the Kwaremont in 2019, and he is sub 60.
 
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Right, I'll admit I wasn't super-active in this thread, so it might already have been mentioned, but I was just quietly amused by the fact that Mathijs Paasschens was in the early breakaway today of all days, because... well, guess it was required, with his name.
 
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I don't think it was needless. He wanted to get a nice cushion over the rest. Not saying he couldn't have done less and still won of course. But I think he made a sensible choice in the given situation, certainly not a stupid one.
Agreed, if he hadn’t worked they stood a chance of getting caught. I didn’t think he had a chance, but not pulling wasn’t really an option.
 
You'd kind of wonder will WVA ever live up to his potential in the monuments at Jumbo. Let's face it, the Tour is always going to be the goal for a team like them with Roglic and WVA is probably the best help you can have in a GT so I'd imagine he'll always be going to it. Do Jumbo have the budget to build an incredible Tour team and a strong classics side? ATM, it seems not. The team around him throughout this year has been pretty pathetic tbf and have been nowhere when the action started (Van Hooydoonck had some good performances but that's it)

Alpecin are built around VDP then and outside of Merlier don't really have any other they're looking to race around at big races.
I don't disagree that Wout's team hasn't been stellar at the pointy end of the race this spring, but he was in the lead group of three today, no one had a team mate, so its kind of hard to blame his team. I guess the only way to blame his team is if WvA had to do too much work early?
 
I don't disagree that Wout's team hasn't been stellar at the pointy end of the race this spring, but he was in the lead group of three today, no one had a team mate, so its kind of hard to blame his team. I guess the only way to blame his team is if WvA had to do too much work early?
Tbf VDP had Vermeersch in the group behind, and QS had Senechal in the group behind and this is in a bad year for them with Ala off, Lampaert disappearing and then Stybar being out. You'd expect them to be stronger if Lefevre can sort out sponsorship in the years ahead as it's always something they target.
 
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To be fair, Valgren looked good today, and was near the front when the race exploded on Taaienberg - but crashed seconds after Asgreen made the move.
Oh, so he crashed.

It was one of the most mysterious disappearings I've witnessed while watching cycling ever.
One moment he was around 15th place when there was acceleration on the climb.
Literally a minute later they showed a long camera shot that included several groups and first 80 or so riders on the road and there was no sign of him.
I knew he had to crash or something because it was not physically possible to drop this far down the order this quickly but I don't think they've shown his crash or otherwise I must have missed it.
 
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"Asgreen is certainly the deserved winner. He never made a point of riding to the finish together. That says enough," Van der Poel said.


"He felt good. I certainly didn't think it was a done deal. In the sprint I could turn it on for five seconds, then it was just off. He is someone who dares to race and dares to continue to the finish, I like that."
You gotta like those comments. Some call his brand of racing stupid, but to me he’s making the sport more fun to watch. Positive racing is also contagious, and it makes for great viewing!
 
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Of course. I never contested any of that. However, all of this further proves my point that he's a brave rider and so made a brave decision. Not necessarily a smart one though, given the odds of sprinting against one of the quickest finishers in the peloton bar top pure sprinters. That's the whole point. I'm not taking anything away from Asgreen, he's 100% the deserving winner, but that's beside the point at hand.
I do get Your point. The thing is, is the smart choice the good one? Not from past-race point of view? Id take the brave choice ten times of ten, and wouldnt criticize the one who did it. Still, that`s view from my sofa...
 
re-reading the topic, I'm so happy I didn't have time to react after Asgreen and MvdP went on the Kwaremont.
I would have said the same as most: "Asgreen: stop working!"

In hindsight, Asgreen is a beast. He already won E3 (a good indicator) and especially the way he did that was impressive.
Now he wins Flanders, and even without a strong DQS squad, he would have been up there in the finale for sure.
 
Tbf VDP had Vermeersch in the group behind, and QS had Senechal in the group behind and this is in a bad year for them with Ala off, Lampaert disappearing and then Stybar being out. You'd expect them to be stronger if Lefevre can sort out sponsorship in the years ahead as it's always something they target.
Mentally I guess its nice to know that you have mates just behind, but they aren't doing anything for you physically.
 
Oh, so he crashed.

It was one of the most mysterious disappearings I've witnessed while watching cycling ever.
One moment he was around 15th place when there was acceleration on the climb.
Literally a minute later they showed a long camera shot that included several groups and first 80 or so riders on the road and there was no sign of him.
I knew he had to crash or something because it was not physically possible to drop this far down the order this quickly but I don't think they've shown his crash or otherwise I must have missed it.
The commentators on Danish TV2 caught it instantly (apparently it was said on the race radio), and were live-commentating it.

I suspect the various Eurosport commentators aren't plugged into the race radio?
 
I do get Your point. The thing is, is the smart choice the good one? Not from past-race point of view? Id take the brave choice ten times of ten, and wouldnt criticize the one who did it. Still, that`s view from my sofa...
Have I criticized him? When? Where? My only contention was that I could understand where a certain poster was coming from regarding the brave vs smart choice.

The reality is that, historically, more often than not riders choose to ride “smart” instead of “brave”. Look at MSR, once Ewan made the final cut everyone hesitated to ride with him to the line, can you blame them, taking into account that he finished first from the chasing group? Of course not.

There’s good reason to ride smart instead of brave, but in this case the reverse is also true. Who am I to judge wether you think you have what it takes to beat the odds?
The only thing in this scenario is that it’s a fine line between “you see? he made the right choice after all” etc. and “yeah, it wasn’t the best move, DQS/Asgreen fail” etc.

It paid off this time, and everything is 20/20 in hindsight. Fact remains that it was braver than it was smart.

Point is that you can be brave and not necessarily smart at the same time, in fact, bravery often times means exactly that, doing something despite the odds. They are not mutually exclusive.
 
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I agree, but you can also assess your odds while gambling and base a decision on that. He made the choice to gamble against the odds stacked up against him, so de facto, it wasn't a "smart" choice, so I can understand Logic's contention here. It was more a brave choice than a smart one, vindicated only because it paid off and he won. Kudos to him for being brave.
I'm surprised so many off you feels like it was against his odds. It's a long race, Asgreen can actually do a decent sprint and Mvdp looked cooked. By the way - odds were good at Asgreen winning, when he went away with Mvdp;) I went for it:D
"Asgreen is certainly the deserved winner. He never made a point of riding to the finish together. That says enough," Van der Poel said.

"He felt good. I certainly didn't think it was a done deal. In the sprint I could turn it on for five seconds, then it was just off. He is someone who dares to race and dares to continue to the finish, I like that."
Thats true racing - might show more confidence in Asgreens sprint among his competitors, than from users in this forum. Asgreen is'nt that bad in sprinting - but had to make it a longer one.

Also Alaphillippe predictably getting blown out of it on 2nd part of the Kwaremont just like Kwiatkowski used to be. Just like Pidcock, Teuns etc. Under 70kgs you don't stand a chance here
I can't see why Asgreen should have stopped working in front. He would have gained a lot more competitors and two teammates who was cooked in the entire final, If the chasing group had closed the gap. Of course he had to go for the win - nothing is sure after 260 km's of racing, but he looked so strong and had to go for it.
 
I'm surprised so many off you feels like it was against his odds. It's a long race, Asgreen can actually do a decent sprint and Mvdp looked cooked. By the way - odds were good at Asgreen winning, when he went away with Mvdp;) I went for it:D
It's really not that surprising. It's more surprising that a simple truth can be misunderstood as much as it has been. It's simple; Mathieu is one of the fastest finishers in the peloton bar top pure sprinters, this is also the case in long races, he won last year's edition in a sprint after all. Asgreen, as you said yourself, is a decent sprinter. So a decent sprinter vs a very good sprinter after a hard race where the latter has also proven to be good means that the odds are against the decent sprinter, surely. Not that hard to grasp imo.

Hindsight is a funny thing though, and can cause these types of arguments and warp truths when it's all said and done. It's by no means a criticism towards Asgreen, just stating facts. Also, at that point everyone was cooked, Mathieu was still the one pulling the most together with Wout. So the theory that Mathieu looked cooked and Asgreen basing his decision solely on that is farfetched. It might have played a role but the odds were still against him. He took a brave, but not very smart choice and it paid off. Simple as.

Go back a couple of pages and see how many posters were telling him to not pull when he was alone with Mathieu. There's a reason for that.
 
I mean, who would bet against VDP? If it was a group sprint like MSR sure.

But in two man sprints or 3/4 man sprints he has shown to nearly always been the winner. The difference was very clear with 2020 though. In 2020 he could keep sprinting. This time, in my opinion, he fell literally 60/70 meter short of that. Just did not have enough in the tank. So it's like 2020, the guy with the most left in the tank won, not the faster sprinter.

and having enough in the tank has to do with who was the strongest guy in the race. That was Asgreen.
 
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Have I criticized him? When? Where? My only contention was that I could understand where a certain poster was coming from regarding the brave vs smart choice.

The reality is that, historically, more often than not riders choose to ride “smart” instead of “brave”. Look at MSR, once Ewan made the final cut everyone hesitated to ride with him to the line, can you blame them, taking into account that he finished first from the chasing group? Of course not.

There’s good reason to ride smart instead of brave, but in this case the reverse is also true. Who am I to judge wether you think you have what it takes to beat the odds?
The only thing in this scenario is that it’s a fine line between “you see? he made the right choice after all” etc. and “yeah, it wasn’t the best move, DQS/Asgreen fail” etc.

It paid off this time, and everything is 20/20 in hindsight. Fact remains that it was braver than it was smart.

Point is that you can be brave and not necessarily smart at the same time, in fact, bravery often times means exactly that, doing something despite the odds. They are not mutually exclusive.
By "criticizing" I wasnt reffering to Your specific post. I agree with most of Your arguments; what I mean is: with the outcome of the race, his choices [I]where[/I] the right one and there are no [I]ifs.[/I] There is no single argument that he could do something better/smarter. Not a single one. But, coming next race, that doesnt mean that similar choices should be made.
 

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