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2017 Flèche Wallone - April 19th - 200.5km

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To liven up next year's race we need Super Mario Kart rules - the guys behind can fire red Koopa shells and the guys ahead can drop banana skins on the road. No triple mushroom speed powerups though, those were already tried in 1994.
 
Nice try by Jungels.
Could have been fun if Gaudu had managed to get the win.
Valverde just too strong.









Hope Valgren is okay for Sunday. Apparently, according to an Astana press-guy, "Under normal circumstances he'd be okay."
Well... sure "normal circumstances" would be not smacking his head into the ground...
 
Re:

vedrafjord said:
When Martin signed for Quickstep I thought "finally a team can drop him off in a prime spot at the bottom of the Mur so he doesn't have a ton of ground to make up" and yet here we are again, Dan fifteen places back and boxed in for the majority of the climb, leaving him way too much to do in the final hundred metres.

Deja vu all over again as Yogi Berra would say.

To be fair Martin should know exactly where to be in this race by now and yet he still manages to get caught out of position
 
Re:

Saint Unix said:
Sky should be ashamed of themselves riding like that with both Henao and Kwiat in the team. They absolutely needed to try something with Kwiat on Cherave to have a chance.

Kwiatkowski's main goal is L-B-L so he probably wasn't interested in any crazy efforts today. As of Henao I'm not sure he is the rider who would hold of peloton on such course profile.
 
Re:

vedrafjord said:
When Martin signed for Quickstep I thought "finally a team can drop him off in a prime spot at the bottom of the Mur so he doesn't have a ton of ground to make up" and yet here we are again, Dan fifteen places back and boxed in for the majority of the climb, leaving him way too much to do in the final hundred metres.

Deja vu all over again as Yogi Berra would say.
Martin was plenty close enough on the lower slopes if he was good enough (on Teuns wheel and ahead of Gaudu). To me, he overachieves on this climb by timing his effort well while too many of the others do too much too early
 
I usually want this race to end with a race up the Mur but the depressing thing lately is that no one is really trying early in the climb. We used to see riders giving it a go from different spots on the Mur and you were never really sure which attack was going to take it.
 
Re: Re:

movingtarget said:
DFA123 said:
Saint Unix said:
Anyone who knows anything about cycling saw this coming like a freight train the moment they went over Cherave all together.

Sky should be ashamed of themselves riding like that with both Henao and Kwiat in the team. They absolutely needed to try something with Kwiat on Cherave to have a chance.
Not just Sky - I think every team in the peloton apart from Quickstep and maybe BMC should be hanging their heads in shame at their performance today. A load of big WT teams, knowingly racing for 2nd place at best.

Orica put some work in didn't they ?
Yeah, to neutralize the race in order for Albasini to get destroyed by Valverde. They're probably happy with a top 5 finish - but it's pretty shameful to see big teams racing so negatively.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
Not just Sky - I think every team in the peloton apart from Quickstep and maybe BMC should be hanging their heads in shame at their performance today. A load of big WT teams, knowingly racing for 2nd place at best.
Agreed, but Sky in particular since they have Kwiatkowski, who is arguably the strongest rider for an early (Cherave is early in this snoozefest of a race) attack and Henao, who is possibly the second best rider on the Mur. They had two possible winning tickets and threw away the one with the highest winning odds, which ironically also lowered the odds on the other ticket too.

Quick Step at least took a chance with Jungels. Too bad Martin suffers from chronic bad positioning.
 
Re: Re:

Arked said:
Saint Unix said:
Sky should be ashamed of themselves riding like that with both Henao and Kwiat in the team. They absolutely needed to try something with Kwiat on Cherave to have a chance.

Kwiatkowski's main goal is L-B-L so he probably wasn't interested in any crazy efforts today. As of Henao I'm not sure he is the rider who would hold of peloton on such course profile.
Kwiatkowski going earlier and working with Jungels, de Marchi and maybe one other could have held on though without needing a crazy LBL-destroying effort. Valverde was pretty isolated at one stage before and during the Cherave. If Sky and Quick Step had riders up the road and would disrupt the chase they would have had a serious chance.

Instead, they chose to be incredible negative, racing just for high position, rather than for the win.
 
Re:

frisenfruitig said:
Also a good ride by Dylan Theuns.

I just don't see the logic in what teams like Orica were doing. They closed the gap for Valverde when they could have attacked along with Jungels instead of going to the Mur to get f*ed up the keester by Valverde.
The best thing about the race is that the two teams who chanced their arm and sent riders on ambitious long range attacks, still ended up with podium positions from the races. The ones setting up a Valverde win ended up scrapping around for 4th place. :D
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
movingtarget said:
DFA123 said:
Saint Unix said:
Anyone who knows anything about cycling saw this coming like a freight train the moment they went over Cherave all together.

Sky should be ashamed of themselves riding like that with both Henao and Kwiat in the team. They absolutely needed to try something with Kwiat on Cherave to have a chance.
Not just Sky - I think every team in the peloton apart from Quickstep and maybe BMC should be hanging their heads in shame at their performance today. A load of big WT teams, knowingly racing for 2nd place at best.

Orica put some work in didn't they ?
Yeah, to neutralize the race in order for Albasini to get destroyed by Valverde. They're probably happy with a top 5 finish - but it's pretty shameful to see big teams racing so negatively.

He was still their best chance of a win and Movistar were not going to do much. Valverde was almost a certainty to win anyway.
 
Lol, I love the Flèche hate. It's reaching Scheldeprijs levels really. :D

I'll never understand the work some teams do on some races. Orica today - why? What for? They were chasing for the most part of the final 30k. For what? An Albasini 5th? The likes of Bala and Martin will always win that head to head.
 
The most frustrating thing is that it seems like riders don't attack early on the mur anymore. It's okay that this is a race where only one kilometer is interesting but that makes it even more frustrating when not even this one climb is exciting. Why are there no guys like Contador or Betancur anymore who say, f*ck this, I won't wait for Bala to crush me
 
Re: Re:

Akuryo said:
vedrafjord said:
When Martin signed for Quickstep I thought "finally a team can drop him off in a prime spot at the bottom of the Mur so he doesn't have a ton of ground to make up" and yet here we are again, Dan fifteen places back and boxed in for the majority of the climb, leaving him way too much to do in the final hundred metres.

Deja vu all over again as Yogi Berra would say.

To be fair, Gilbert, Alaphilippe and Serry where all out injured ...

I meant more in terms of hardman rouleurs capable of bullying their way to the front on the flat run-ins to decisive climbs so he can start them in the first few places and not be on the back foot from the bottom.

Eyeballs Out said:
Martin was plenty close enough on the lower slopes if he was good enough (on Teuns wheel and ahead of Gaudu). To me, he overachieves on this climb by timing his effort well while too many of the others do too much too early

Fair enough, I'll have to go back and rewatch to see what position he was in at the bottom. First time I saw him he was at least 15 places back.

jaylew said:
What happened to Cannondale? They were well-positioned and then just disappeared.

You should save that comment so you can paste it as needed throughout the rest of the season.
 

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