105th Ronde van Vlaanderen: April 4th, 2021

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GVA was 3rd today. So another great result to add to his collection of top placings in RVV. I remember there was discussion before the race about who is the best RVV rider without a win. A discussion that expanded into a "How many times has GVA actually been close to winning?" discussion. So where does today's effort stand? Was he close to winning today? I don't think he was despite finishing 3rd. He never looked like a potential winner to me during the race (despite picking him as a winner in the prediction game, but I knew it was a long shot) and was always in the chasing groups with riders who were lacking a bit on the climbs.
 
I know that a lot has been said about the (deserving) winner and MVDP and a few others, but a few others also deserve a mention:

-Bissegger for his monster ride in the breakaway at the age of 22.

-Turgis for alway catching up to the lead group. A shame that he was just picking up a bidon when Asgreen attacked and couldn't react, he could have been fighting for the final podium spot with Wout.

-Marco Haller, another gutsy ride by the hardman sprinter from Carinthia. He was also a hockey player as a teenager, but then he had to choose between the 2 sports. His performance today reminded me of how Greipel used to ride the RVV, always attacking.

-Max Walscheid, for the 2nd year in a row he finished inside the top 30. It might not sound that impressive, but the guy is a 90kg heavy sprinter. He's also a good TTer, I really hope that Paris-Roubaix will actually happen after the WC, that race should suit him really well.
 
GVA was 3rd today. So another great result to add to his collection of top placings in RVV. I remember there was discussion before the race about who is the best RVV rider without a win. A discussion that expanded into a "How many times has GVA actually been close to winning?" discussion. So where does today's effort stand? Was he close to winning today? I don't think he was despite finishing 3rd. He never looked like a potential winner to me during the race (despite picking him as a winner in the prediction game, but I knew it was a long shot) and was always in the chasing groups with riders who were lacking a bit on the climbs.
Never closes to winning, 3rd was best result possible.
 
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 noticed but did not agree;)

Why should he wait, and bring more competitors into the equation? It would be Van Aert, Van avermat, Laporte and more - he would only gain his teammate Senechal who looked cooked for the last 40 km's or so (but kept coming back). I do not get the tradeoff in a situation like this.

The logic would be, it's better to take a one vs. one, instead of a group sprint where somebody might have been wheelsucking for the last 20 km's - especially if you are one of the two strongest riders in the peleton. Worst case you get second place, which is'nt bad.
 
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
Bettiol begs to differ ( I know, with 68/69kg he's rather close, but still).
 
I noticed but did not agree;)

Why should he wait, and bring more competitors into the equation? It would be Van Aert, Van avermat, Laporte and more - he would only gain his teammate Senechal who looked cooked for the last 40 km's or so (but kept coming back). I do not get the tradeoff in a situation like this.

The logic would be, it's better to take a one vs. one, instead of a group sprint where somebody might have been wheelsucking for the last 20 km's - especially if you are one of the two strongest riders in the peleton. Worst case you get second place, which is'nt bad.
Yep, I can see clearly that we do not understand each other. It's Ok though, I'm tired of this silly argument. I've broken it down as much as I could have but alas. Let's just agree to disagree and call it a day.
 
Recorded the last 40 km or so and just finished watching it. Gotta say, I thought Asgreen was stupid to take as many pulls as he did. In fact I even thought QS was stupid to salvage their numbers advantage for Asgreen to be in a three men break against the two top favorites. How wrong I was.
 
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GVA was 3rd today. So another great result to add to his collection of top placings in RVV. I remember there was discussion before the race about who is the best RVV rider without a win. A discussion that expanded into a "How many times has GVA actually been close to winning?" discussion. So where does today's effort stand? Was he close to winning today? I don't think he was despite finishing 3rd. He never looked like a potential winner to me during the race (despite picking him as a winner in the prediction game, but I knew it was a long shot) and was always in the chasing groups with riders who were lacking a bit on the climbs.
He was made to look like an old man on the Taaienberg, did not do much in the chase after, couldn't do what Turgis did on the Kruisberg and didn't do much after until his attack.

one of the least impressive podium finishes, imo, but whatever works for him
 
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Agree;) It's obvius you find my argument silly and i do not byu in on yours - it''s ok though, it was good racing today and entertaining.
I didn’t say your argument was silly, but I can see a pattern of you misinterpreting my posts, which is exactly why this has become silly and pointless.

The point is that if you understood what my contention is then you wouldn’t need to buy into anything as it’s just a general truth. Unless you oppose facts, then we’re done entirely. I can’t possibly dumb it down more than I already have.

So to avoid any further misunderstandings and waste of each other’s times I suggested to agree to disagree. Hopefully that part is understood and we can move on.
 
Recorded the last 40 km or so and just finished watching it. Gotta say, I thought Asgreen was stupid to take as many pulls as he did. In fact I even thought QS was stupid to salvage their numbers advantage for Asgreen to be in a three men break against the two top favorites. How wrong I was.
Well he probably knew Alaphilippe was compeltely done too.
 
Mentally I guess its nice to know that you have mates just behind, but they aren't doing anything for you physically.
No, course but if Van Aert had one there and he gets dropped as he did, maybe that team mate can bring the group gap if he's strong. Same if VDP was dropped instead of Van Aert, Vermeersch buries himself on the front to bring VDP back. Van Hooydoonck is still young enough so maybe he can do that but to me Van Aert needs some stronger team mates in these races and other monuments if he targets them (admittedly the team around him in LBL and Lombardia could be stronger with Jumbo's strength uphill and Roglic being a strong contender at both of those). MSR it doesn't matter as much but for RVV, PR and any of the other Belgian races, he needs a better team unless he's in stupid form.
 
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One thing I wonder is the extent to which there was a mental element to Asgreen's tactics. What I mean is that had he sat on MVDP's wheel from the Paterberg, it makes MVDP's job known - in that it telegraphs a long(er) range attack at some point and MVDP just has to close the gap; and it also gives MVDP the chance to call his bluff and let the chase group catch to see how Asgreen changes tactics (in this instance having Senechal there seemed to be no threat whatsoever).

I think sharing the work shows cojones to the extent it will make your opponent know you're strong and you want this to be a one on one. It also leaves more cards on the table - leaving the option to stop cooperating, make an attack (which was clearly the most expected outcome, by everyone here and probably by everyone in the race) or just wait as he did. In this sense, anticipating the attack but knowing it might not come IMO confers a mental disadvantage, MVDP has no option other than to keep cooperating and wait for Asgreen's move, the ball is entirely in Asgreen's court . When it came to the final KM I felt MVDP still didn't know when Asgreen would go and I can't help but feel this played a part in the final result.

Although maybe I'm just taking the result and applying some backwards reasoning to it :)
 
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Michel Wuyts has good insights.


Essentially Van Aert did not rest enough since august because he kept moving from goal to goal. He should probably not ride Brabantse Pijl and AGR.
Van Der Poel was to sure of himself and did too much of the work in the final 10 k's.
Asgreen is good but still has the mind of a helper and will not necessarily grow to be the big leader at Quickstep.
Kirby does not know his stuff whatsoever and should retire.
 
Michel Wuyts has good insights.


Essentially Van Aert did not rest enough since august because he kept moving from goal to goal. He should probably not ride Brabantse Pijl and AGR.
Van Der Poel was to sure of himself and did too much of the work in the final 10 k's.
Asgreen is good but still has the mind of a helper and will not necessarily grow to be the big leader at Quickstep.
Kirby does not know his stuff whatsoever and should retire.
Serious or joke?

Van der Poel wasn't too sure of himself, that's just his way of riding.

Asgreen has the mind of helper? He's self-confident and obviously smart, he accepts and uses the wolfpack tactics, he profits from them and his colleages profit from him. At DQS you cannot be "the" big leader unless you're Boonen.

Van Aert, who knows whether he didn't rest enough? If he wants to do BP and AG him and his coaches will have reasons for that.

About Kirby, I guess he's right...
 
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.
Yes, but you are talking hindsight, and that is always 20/20. Even so, I disagree that there can be no single argument if you stay within the constraints of the contention.

Again, being brave and not necessarily smart aren’t mutually exclusive. In this case he was both but he pulled it off and won deservedly, so kudos to him.
 
GVA was 3rd today. So another great result to add to his collection of top placings in RVV. I remember there was discussion before the race about who is the best RVV rider without a win. A discussion that expanded into a "How many times has GVA actually been close to winning?" discussion. So where does today's effort stand? Was he close to winning today? I don't think he was despite finishing 3rd. He never looked like a potential winner to me during the race (despite picking him as a winner in the prediction game, but I knew it was a long shot) and was always in the chasing groups with riders who were lacking a bit on the climbs.
No he wasn't close, 3rd was best possible by a long shot, probably undeserved too. But he, as a rider, deserved it. It was his 4th podium and 9th top 10 (equal to Van Petegem, only legendary Briek Schotte has one more).
 
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So to avoid any further misunderstandings and waste of each other’s times I suggested to agree to disagree. Hopefully that part is understood and we can move on.
Sure thing.

I didn’t say your argument was silly, but I can see a pattern of you misinterpreting my posts, which is exactly why this has become silly and pointless.
And you mine - I actually wrote agree;)

Btw - I did read it again, and will have to say, that I misundertand when you wrote "silly argument" (I can see now, that you referred to our discussion and not my argument about why Asgreen should go for the sprint). Sorry about that, let's move on and have a nice evening.
 
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There was a specific zone between 3 and 2 k to go where everyone was supposed to drop their waist. Asgreen also threw away his there. Area will be full of kids next year :)
Thanks for the clarification. The explanations I had seen claimed that Asgreen had waited just long enough before dropping his. This makes more sense.
 
Recorded the last 40 km or so and just finished watching it. Gotta say, I thought Asgreen was stupid to take as many pulls as he did. In fact I even thought QS was stupid to salvage their numbers advantage for Asgreen to be in a three men break against the two top favorites. How wrong I was.
Thing is for the last 50km every time they went up hill and Asgreen and VDP pulled clear I thought Asgreen was looking strongest. I thought it was 50/50 once it ended as 2-up but we've seen a few times that Mathieu can be empty at the end of a hard race.

Also Asgreen was tangled up in that crash - that must have cost a bit of energy too.
 
Was pulling hard for MVDP, but strongest guy won this one. Juggling 3 disciplines ain't easy. CX WC in February, nice results on the road in March and April, and we'll see what happens on the MTB come May.
 
Thing is for the last 50km every time they went up hill and Asgreen and VDP pulled clear I thought Asgreen was looking strongest. I thought it was 50/50 once it ended as 2-up but we've seen a few times that Mathieu can be empty at the end of a hard race.

Also Asgreen was tangled up in that crash - that must have cost a bit of energy too.
Asgreen looked at ease on the last climb, and rode next to vdP, so he likely got a really good sense of how he was feeling and how vdP was doing. Strong and smart racing.
 
I think the sprinting abilities are more equal this time. Asgreen has a decent sprint, and MVDP does not have Kristoff's top speed from when he was best. I'd say a long sprint from Asgreen is the only way to beat MVDP, but there needs to be tailwind for that strategy to work.
Touche for even seeing this as possible.

Robbie McEwan said on the Australian commentary that he would bet his house and whatever else he had on MVDP winning the sprint. I was thinking 'when is Asgreen going to launch his attack?'

Very classy and deserved win.
 
Shout out to Gianni Vermeersch.

Not the most notorious guy but 14th at Strade Bianche, 9th at E3, 10th at GW and 7th at RvV.

One of the most loyal guys to VdP and I hope he continues to be his wingman for many years to come. I see that he is riding the Giro, expect to see him fighting for a stage win.
 

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