2017 Abu Dhabi Tour, 23 to 26 Feb

Oct 31, 2016
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The Route : The race features three flat stages, while stage 3 takes in a summit finish on Jebel Hafeet.

The Weather : Good, with 22 to 27° and a 20 km/h north wind.

GC Contenders : Nairo Quintana, Alberto Contador & Bauke Mollema, Fabiu Aru, Vincenzo Nibali, Roman Bardet, Steven Kruijswijk, Tom Dumoulin, Rafa Majka, Tejay Van Garderen, Ilnur Zakarin, Julian Alaphilippe...

Sprinters : Marc Cavendish, Marcel Kittel, André Greipel, Caleb Ewan, Elia Viviani.

 
That's a great field, not a great course, sprints with guys who don't have the b@lls to race the Homloop and that tells me a lot about them :mad: , so in my view all that matters is the GC. One stage.

It's early in the season, yet we have seen some big names with big performances. I'm curious to see how Nibali will fare. Aru was very good but not excellent last week, he needs a boost. Bardet was not as good as he was at the same time last year in Oman, so he needs a good showing.

The final climb will be raced hard, if you place an attack and get reeled in, you're done. I don't see any of the favorites attacking mid-climb except maybe for Contador. I hope that he does, and that he succeeds.Some lesser riders may try something crazy and pre-race tactics go to the trash can, the thing explodes, A guy like Alaphilippe could very well Valverd his way to a small group sprint victory. The gradients get smaller towards the top and riders can come back.

I will not miss that one. Advantage to riders who can set or follow a strong pace: Quintana should do well.
 
Pure sprinters are here. Good weather, a course that suits their characteristics. Not everyone's favorite genre of rider - but they exist and this suits them much better than Omloop. They'd have an extremely hard time competing there.

The GC field here is as good as any GT. Fingers crossed for a showdown between Quintana and AC. It should happen imo.
 
Wow, that's a better field than we're likely to see at some of the most prestigious stage races this year.

I wonder if AC will actually be working for Mollema like he says? It doesn't seem to make sense given this parcours. Hard for me to imagine what that would look like here, especially given he added the race to get more hard efforts in - who knows, maybe he'll attack super early and let Mollema sit back? I'm guessing he felt the need to say that since he decided to race here at the last minute and the team already had a plan built around TGBM. Given he just joined, he may have wanted to engender some goodwill amongst his new teammates and didn't wanted to step on any toes.

I'm looking forward to the sprint battles as well. Should be good, especially considering Kittel doesn't seem to have a strong train.

I'm going with a different winner every day:

1 win - Kittel (even without a strong train, I feel like he's just got the best top end speed)
1 win - Greipel (seems like he almost never comes away empty handed in a stage race)
1 win - either Cav (hasn't looked too sharp yet but I feel like this might be where he puts it together) or Ewan (not sure where the pocket rocket's form is with a month off of racing)

How do you guys think the sprints will go?
 
Are the big names here to attract viewers or for something else? I doubt the single 10km climb really attracted the GC riders that much. I fear it's going to be another one of those races where there are only handful spectators along the road, if any at all.
 
Oct 31, 2016
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Re:

Lequack said:
Are the big names here to attract viewers or for something else? I doubt the single 10km climb really attracted the GC riders that much. I fear it's going to be another one of those races where there are only handful spectators along the road, if any at all.
RCS has signed a convention with Velon (Lotto NL, BMC, Cannondale, Bahrain-Merida, Lotto-Soudal, Quick Step, Orica, Sunweb, Sky, Trek) in order to bring at least one big name in their races. That's the first reason why we have this all stars field. After that, money plays also a role as the riders will get a good pay and will stay at luxurious hotels.
 
"Cavendish is down, is he? No there he is, what great positioning by Mark Cavendish". "Mark Cavendish, for glory". "Cavendish, as always is first to congratulate his teammates"

Got to love Carlton Kirby.
 
yaco said:
Josh Homme said:
You could see Ewan's leg still there lying when the camera focused on Kittel after the finish.

Does not look good for Caleb :sad:
Unsure if Ewan crossed the line - My brief glimpse indicated a pelvis/hip injury.
Whilst one never likes to see any sportsperson seriously injured; this may end up being a blessing for his team and its planning.

Ewan out of the equation for the Giro means NOT banking on being one rider down by half distance; NOT having to divert significant manpower from your prime GC focus on sprint wins. They werent going to send him to the Tour and with all 3 GC men down for the Vuelta, they aren't going to also send a resource-greedy bunch sprinter.
 
dirkprovin said:
yaco said:
Josh Homme said:
You could see Ewan's leg still there lying when the camera focused on Kittel after the finish.

Does not look good for Caleb :sad:
Unsure if Ewan crossed the line - My brief glimpse indicated a pelvis/hip injury.
Whilst one never likes to see any sportsperson seriously injured; this may end up being a blessing for his team and its planning.

Ewan out of the equation for the Giro means NOT banking on being one rider down by half distance; NOT having to divert significant manpower from your prime GC focus on sprint wins. They werent going to send him to the Tour and with all 3 GC men down for the Vuelta, they aren't going to also send a resource-greedy bunch sprinter.
At this point I am convinced that Caleb Ewan is sleeping with your wife.
 
Zinoviev Letter said:
dirkprovin said:
yaco said:
Josh Homme said:
You could see Ewan's leg still there lying when the camera focused on Kittel after the finish.

Does not look good for Caleb :sad:
Unsure if Ewan crossed the line - My brief glimpse indicated a pelvis/hip injury.
Whilst one never likes to see any sportsperson seriously injured; this may end up being a blessing for his team and its planning.

Ewan out of the equation for the Giro means NOT banking on being one rider down by half distance; NOT having to divert significant manpower from your prime GC focus on sprint wins. They werent going to send him to the Tour and with all 3 GC men down for the Vuelta, they aren't going to also send a resource-greedy bunch sprinter.
At this point I am convinced that Caleb Ewan is sleeping with your wife.
Sorry to disappoint you but I don't have one ! :lol:

Just thoroughly sick of him being built up by certain sectors of the AUS media when his manifold shortcomings are so glaringly apparent. Yes ... I will acknowledge that he may be able to build some sort of professional career (albeit not one where he wins any Champs Elysses final stages let alone monuments) .... but ORS is not going to be that vehicle and hopefully ORS hierarchy/Ewan himself plus his management come to that understanding over the next 12-18 months.

Maybe by then he may have been weaned away from his ridiculous sprinting position; hopefully as a result of getting his arse handed to him by the "big boys" rather than as a result of accidents.
 

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