2013 Liège-Bastogne-Liège, 21/04/13 257km

Sep 24, 2012
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Looks like Peter "monster" "awesome" "tourminator" Sagan won't ride LBL and FW.

Phil Gilbert looked strong and he will only get better until LBL. Since no one was close to him today (besides the "beast"), who can challenge him? Looks like there's no more "hilly classics" riders in good shape at the moment and BMC (GVA, actually) are very strong.

While I can see Purito smoking him at FW, I can't see him doing the same at Liege, since he is so small and poor on the flat.

GC riders (very good at this races since there's no more Bettinis left.) are good at this, but the ones with "cajones" like Alberto won't ride it. Andy must be at a bar somewhere and Cadel is out of shape.

Will Nibali ride LBL? He can do it, but not against "this" Gilbert and BMC, I'm afraid.

My only hope? Valverde. Where is he? Is he in good shape?

 
Oct 23, 2011
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Purito has seriously improved his engine though last year. He finished top 10 in a 40km TT (which admittedly had a climb in it, but also long flat sections) in last year's Vuelta, beating Talansky and Meyer among others after all.

Who knows what Nibali will do.

Also Henao is looking very strong.

Gilbert is the clear favourite, but he should have some decent competition.
 
Sep 24, 2012
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I don't know if Henao can do it, but Gilbert is better than Nibali at every single discipline of cycling (besides mountains) when he is in shape like this.
Besides that, he has Greg to chase him down.

Should our hope be centered around Nibali's "cojones"?

Is Cancellara riding? Without that climb he could power away... When he is in shape like this even Gilbert at his best can't follow him on hills like poggio or the ones at RVV.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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pedromartins said:
I don't know if Henao can do it, but Gilbert is better than Nibali at every single discipline of cycling (besides mountains) when he is in shape like this.
Besides that, he has Greg to chase him down.

Should our hope be centered around Nibali's "cojones"?

Is Cancellara riding? Without that climb he could power away... When he is in shape like this even Gilbert at his best can't follow him on hills like poggio or the ones at RVV.
They aren't climbing the Poggio or Paterberg in LBL.
 
Sep 24, 2012
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jaylew said:
Shouldn't this be merged with the existing Ardennes thread?
Why focus on that? This is specific. More threads (if well organized and with decent posts that can contribute for the discussion) are beneficial.

If you don't feel like discussing this, don't post.
 
Aug 16, 2011
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If Gilbert's current form is the same or close to his 2011 form than there won't be a ton of guys that can best him.
Nibali, Henao, Valverde, Purito (maybe) are the first riders that spring to mind. Nibali and Valverde being the most likely of those. Maybe Costa as an outside bet to sneak away.
Is Quintana riding LBL?
 
Sep 24, 2012
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El Pistolero said:
They aren't climbing the Poggio or Paterberg in LBL.
I know, but aren't the climbs (hills) similar? Maybe RVV (the way it is raced) is even "harder".

If this becomes a hard men race, I can see a strong guy like Cancellara powering away. If it becomes a stop/start race, explosive, I don't see someone beating Gilbert.

The only two more talented riders than Phil at races like this shouldn't be racing/in shape.


Afrank said:
If Gilbert's current form is the same or close to his 2011 form than there won't be a ton of guys that can best him.
Nibali, Henao, Valverde, Purito (maybe) are the first riders that spring to mind. Nibali and Valverde being the most likely of those. Maybe Costa as an outside bet to sneak away.
Is Quintana riding LBL?
I don't know about Quintana, but I would love to see Greg backstabing Phil and get the win he deserves. Now that would be action.
 
Feb 4, 2011
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Afrank said:
If Gilbert's current form is the same or close to his 2011 form than there won't be a ton of guys that can best him.
I agree, but this is not the case
 
Aug 16, 2011
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TeoSheva said:
I agree, but this is not the case
Kinda hard really to judge his form right now, after all Sagan is much stronger this year than previous years. Phil most likely isn't in 2011 form of course, but he is in much better form than last year I think.
I think he has decent enough form to be up there contending for the top of the podium though.
 
Jan 24, 2013
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pedromartins said:
I don't know if Henao can do it, but Gilbert is better than Nibali at every single discipline of cycling (besides mountains) when he is in shape like this.
Besides that, he has Greg to chase him down.

Should our hope be centered around Nibali's "cojones"?

Is Cancellara riding? Without that climb he could power away... When he is in shape like this even Gilbert at his best can't follow him on hills like poggio or the ones at RVV.
I would love to see cancellara riding LBL. Rouche de Facons is gone and its to his advantage. He has nothing to lose and he could add a new monument to his palamares. If he is targeting the worlds (which I think he is even though it seems to hilly for his liking) then LBL would be good for him.
 
Sep 24, 2012
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gruppeto993 said:
I would love to see cancellara riding LBL. Rouche de Facons is gone and its to his advantage. He has nothing to lose and he could add a new monument to his palamares. If he is targeting the worlds (which I think he is even though it seems to hilly for his liking) then LBL would be good for him.
And there's no one to babysit, and there's no need for him to work/pull.

I believe that Cancellara should've won 5 RVV, 5 roubaix and 5 MSR if he was just a little smarter.

LBL looks like a great step forward.
 
Sep 24, 2012
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Panda Claws said:
Cancellara couldn't be 100% in Flanders, Roubaix and LBL and you don't honestly believe that be would be better there than Gilbert, do you?

The guy is +80kg
If the race is "start/stop" (explosive) Cancellara does not stand a chance. But if the pace is infernal, hard weather and he manages to go for it on the flats, who the hell can catch him if there's no organization behind? Who the hell will cooperate with Gilbert? AFAIK, Andy and Frank aren't there.

He doesn't have to be at 100%. If he goes there, he won't go for the "destroy" everyone strategy, he will go for the "wait and see, low-profile" strategy. If he gets a few meters on the right moment, the race is over.
 
Jan 24, 2013
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pedromartins said:
If the race is "start/stop" (explosive) Cancellara does not stand a chance. But if the pace is infernal, hard weather and he manages to go for it on the flats, who the hell can catch him if there's no organization behind? Who the hell will cooperate with Gilbert? AFAIK, Andy and Frank aren't there.

He doesn't have to be at 100%. If he goes there, he won't go for the "destroy" everyone strategy, he will go for the "wait and see, low-profile" strategy. If he gets a few meters on the right moment, the race is over.
Exactly this. He has nothing to lose. Of course he isn't going to be there at 100%. He can just follow and see what happens. The LBL contenders dont have a chance to follow him on the flat since they are usually light climbers and stage racers. so if he attacks on a flat section then he can pace himself on the climbs and ride away.
 
Everything can happen at this year's LBL. We shouldn't forget there's no more Roche-aux-Fauçons, which was a great place to start a daring solo attack.

The safest bet right now would be to go with a Colombian (Henao vs Quintana vs Betancur) or Philippe G., even tho I'd say this race looks like could be the right one for the right outsider, like the Iglinskiy of 2013 :)
 
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